Skip to main content

Ludwig Missionsverein (Ludwig Mission Society)


Also known as "Missio Internationales Katholisches Missionswerk Ludwig Missionsverein," or more commonly as "MISSIO München (Munich)," with its head office in Munich. The society is one of the two German branches of the pontifical mission society MISSIO that was created by the German Catholic Bishops' Conference in 1972 with the merger of Ludwig Missionsverein (which became MISSIO München) and the St. Francis Xavier Mission Society of Aachen (which became MISSIO Aachen). MISSIO München encompasses the Bavarian region of Germany (covering the sees of Augsburg, Bamberg, Eichstätt, München and Freising, Passau, Regensburg, and Würzburg) and the diocese of Speyer. Together with its sister agency, it promotes and sponsors mission and human development projects in partnership with local churches in the Third World, especially in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.

History. The society was founded through the efforts of Frederick Résé, a German missionary priest originally attached to the Cincinnati diocese, at Munich, Bavaria, on Dec. 12, 1838, for the express purpose of giving financial assistance to the Catholic missions of Asia and America. When Résé, encouraged by his recent success in Austria in founding the leopoldinen stiftung, first approached King Ludwig of Bavaria in 1828, the king thought the time inopportune. Ten years later Résé, now Bishop of Detroit, obtained Ludwig's consent; and the society, which bore the king's name, was established with headquarters in Munich and St. Francis Xavier as patron.

Initially the Ludwig Mission Society collaborated with the Society for the propagation of the faith, which had been founded in France in 1822 for the distribution of funds and as a means of obtaining authoritative information about the missions. Mutual dissatisfaction over the allocation of funds led to a complete separation of the two societies in 1844, after which its efforts were directed especially to the needs of German Catholics in the United States. Valuable aid was also rendered to religious orders in the United States, particularly the Redemptorists and Benedictines, and to a lesser degree the Franciscans, Capuchins, and Premonstratensians. The Austrian Jesuit missionary F. X. Weninger, who worked principally with the Germans in the United States, was the recipient of annual allotments from Munich until his death in 1888 at the age of 83. The society contributed annually from 1862 to World War I to the American College at Louvain and helped to develop a corps of German American priests by promoting St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee. It helped teaching communities such as the School Sisters of Notre Dame, founded in Bavaria in 1833, and in the United States in 1847. Native American missions also benefited and, through Weninger, some pioneer work among African Americans was undertaken.

The society's magazine, Annalen der Glaubensverbreitung, published about 300 letters pertaining to the United States before it was supplanted in 1918 by a periodical of the Francis Xavier Mission Society of Aachen. More than 2,000 additional letters are still extant in the society's archives in Munich. In 1922, Pope Pius XI elevated the Ludwig Mission Society to a pontifical mission society.

Bibliography: t. roemer, The Ludwig-Missionsverein and the Church in the United States (18381918) (Catholic University of America, Studies in American Church History 16; 1933); Ten Decades of Alms (St. Louis 1942).

[b. j. blied/eds.]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Ludwig Missionsverein (Ludwig Mission Society)." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 17 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Ludwig Missionsverein (Ludwig Mission Society)." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (April 17, 2019).

"Ludwig Missionsverein (Ludwig Mission Society)." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved April 17, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.