Ketteler, Wilhielm Emanuel, Baron Von
Ketteler, Wilhielm Emanuel, Baron Von an eminent German ecclesiastic, was born in Munster, Westphalia, December 25, 1811, of a noble race, renowned in German annals in the Church and in the field. From 1824 to 1828 he went to the Jesuit College at Brieg, thence to the universities of Gottingen, Berlin, Heidelberg, and Munich. At Heidelberg he had as fellow-student von Bismarck, afterwards prince-chancellor of the German empire. In 1833 the young baron entered the army, and from 1834 to 1838 he occupied important civic positions in his native town. In the latter year he returned to Munich to study theology;
in 1844 he was ordained priest, and was pastor at Beckum, Westphalia, two years, Hopsten, three years, and provost of the Church of St. Hedwige, Berlin. In 1848 he received into the Roman Church the distinguished authoress, Ida, countess of Hahn-Hahn. In 1850 he was appointed to the bishopric of Mayence, where his labors were incessant and fruitful. He reopened the Episcopal Seminary, which had been closed for a quarter of a century, May 1, 1851, and furnished it with a fine staff of professors. After twenty-five years it was closed by order of the German government. Monsignor von Ketteler opened the smaller Seminary of Mayence, August 11, 1864, and May 3, 1869, the one at Dreiburg, both of which disappeared under the new German code. He conducted numerous conferences and retreats, revived the ecclesiastical spirit, introduced severe examinations, and reinvigorated the body ecclesiastic of his diocese. In 1850 bishop von Ketteler recalled to Mayence the order of Capuchins; in 1858 he reinstalled the Jesuits in his diocese; in 1854 he established at Mayence a congregation of Franciscan Sisters, whose duty it was to care for the indigent sick; in 1856 he founded an asylum for unemployed domestics; in 1854 the countess of Hahn-Hahn established at his suggestion a convent of Sisters of the Good Shepherd, wherein the pious foundress remained till her death. Two years after he introduced the Sisters of the Perpetual Adoration. In the same year lie founded the orphanage of St. Mary at Neustadt for poor and unprotected girls, and placed it under the direction of the congregation of Finthen (a village near Mayence), a charitable association of religious women, devoted to the free instruction of the poor, which he himself had founded in 1851. For poor orphans he instituted the hospital of St. Joseph at Kleinzimmern, also a school of the Christian-Brothers at Mayence. In the last-named year he laid the foundation of the Catholic Working-men's Circle, which has many thousand members in Germany, and, as a companion to it, the Catholic Casino, established at the Hotel Frankfort, Mayence. Baron von Ketteler was at once a patriotic German and a devoted son of the Church. He was equally effective in the national assembly, on the platform, and in the pulpit. He was a man of gigantic frame, princely bearing, tempered by Christian sweetness, a model for his priests, and beloved by his people. When on his fifth visit to Rome, in 1877, to assist in the fiftieth anniversary of the episcopate of Pius IX, he caught the typhoid fever, of which he died, July 13 of the same year. Von Ketteler's literary works were mostly of a polemical character, mainly on questions of present interest, bearing the stamp of his intrepid character, practical mind, and vast knowledge of men and books. See (N.Y.) Cath. Almanac, 1878, page 81.