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  • The Leopoldine Society was an organization established in Vienna for the purpose of aiding Catholic missions in North America. When the Society for the Propagation of the Faith was founded in Lyons, in 1822, it did not spread beyond the French borders for a considerable time. Other nations were not unwilling to cooperate, but were deliberating whether to start a similar society of their own or to join the one already in existence. At this time, in 1827, Bishop Edward Fenwick of Cincinnati, Ohio sent his vicar-general, Father Rese, to Europe to recruit German priests and to obtain assistance for his diocese. Father Rese reached Vienna in the latter part of 1828. He stimulated interest in the American missions in those with whom he came in contact. His descriptions of the New World, the scarcity of priests, and the prevailing poverty of the missions awoke a general public interest in the welfare of the American missions and the spiritual welfare of the enemy Protestants.

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