Act I: Gathering Storm

Is it possible to dialogue with the hierarchical Church?

There are several examples of clerics trying to direct the administration of the School Sisters of Notre Dame before 1852. However, the most significant situation involved Archbishop von Reisach and the community established by Mother Theresa at Rottenburg.

Archbishop Karl August Reisach
Archbishop Karl August von Reisach

Although complex and confusing the incident is all too familiar in human relationships. A local community of School Sisters of Notre Dame had been sent to Rottenburg. The pastor, Dr. Mast, was a friend of the Archbishop of Munich, Karl August von Reisach who was a powerful figure in the German Church of the 19th century.1

Dialogue with Archbishop von Reisach

In her attempts to dialogue with Archbishop von Reisach, Mother Theresa exemplifies her clarity of thought, her determination to explain the original vision of the founders, and her commitment to fidelity, both to the Church and the Spirit guiding her heart.

The crises with the Archbishop worsened when a local pastor, Dr. Mast, with Archbishop von Reisach’s support, that Mother Theresa remove the superior and replace her with Sister Rosa Franz.2 In her letters #1095 and #1140, Mother Theresa gives her response.


  1. Archbishop Karl August von Reisach was born June 6, 1800, at Roth, diocese of Eichstaett. He was a student at the German University in Rome and ordained a priest in 1828. In 1830 he became director of the College of Propaganda. In 1836 he was consecrated Bishop of Eichstaett and in 1847, Archbishop of Munich-Freising. He was the leader of the German Bishops 1848-1851. In 1855 he was elevated to a Cardinal in the Curia and the Pope’s advisor on German questions. He died in 1869 during the preparation for the Vatican Council, to which he had been named First Cardinal-Legate by the Holy Father, Pope Pius IX.
  2. Sister Mary Rosa Franz took vows on August 24, 1849. #795

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