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  • The Leopoldine Society was an organisation 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. To strengthen this feeling and encourage the formation of a society similar to the French society he published a description of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati, an excerpt from Father Stephen Badin's work. The Archbishop of Vienna, Leopold Maximilian Graf von Firmian, was so well disposed towards this undertaking that he brought it to the notice of the imperial family. Father Rese was granted an audience with the emperor, whose brother, Archduke Rudolf von Habsburg-Lothringen, Cardinal Archbishop of Olmutz, assumed the protectorate of the missionary work. Wikipedia

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