Muench, Aloisius J. (Aloisius Joseph), 1889-1962

Alternative names

Hide Profile

Cardinal and diplomat Aloisius Muench was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on February 18, 1889 to German immigrant parents, Joseph and Theresa (Kraus) Muench. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the St. Francis de Sales Seminary, June 8, 1913, and was ordained a priest. In 1919, Muench obtained a Masters degree from the University of Wisconsin, followed by his doctoral degree three years later in 1921, from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. Muench continued his post-graduate studies at Oxford, Louvain, and the Sorbonne until he returned to his alma mater in 1923, and became a professor of dogmatic theology, social science, homiletics, and catechetics. St. Francis de Sales appointed him Dean of the Department of Theology and he served as Rector of the Seminary from 1929 to 1935. He was named a Monsignor in 1934, elevated as Third Bishop of Fargo, North Dakota, in 1935, and appointed President of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference in 1939. German capitulation in 1945 created a country divided into four occupation zones with no central government. To help with the situation, Pope Pius XII established the Vatican Mission to organize and coordinate the religious work of the various national groups of Catholic Displaced Persons (DPs) as well as fill in the gaps in relief activities not covered by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA). Archbishop Carlo Chiarlo served from the fall of 1945 to January of 1946 as the first Apostolic Visitator to Germany; Father Ivo Zeiger, S.J. headed the Mission until the summer of 1946, when the Pope deferred to the wishes of the American Occupation forces by naming an American, Bishop Muench, to head the Mission. As Visitator, Bishop Muench supervised and coordinated internal religious affairs in Germany, and advised and assisted the Catholic Bishops. He also maintained relations with the Holy See in all matters having a bearing on the interests of the Catholic Church in Germany with tasks were similar to those of the Apostolic Delegate in Washington. To facilitate his work, General Clay gave Bishop Muench on August 16, 1946, the privilege of uncensored communication and the use of a diplomatic pouch and cable code messages. Also in 1946, the U.S. Secretary of War, Robert P. Patterson, named Bishop Muench as liaison consultant for religious affairs to the military governor of Germany. After 1951, Muench assumed the titles of Regent of the Papal Nunciature in Germany, Archbishop, and Papal Nuncio to Germany, with dual diplomatic and ecclesiastical responsibilities. Muench became a Cardinal in 1959, resigned as bishop of Fargo, and was assigned to Rome. Additionally, he was given membership in the Sacred Congregations of Religious, Rites, and Extraordinary Affairs that same year. Cardinal Aloisius Muench died on February 15, 1962 in Rome, and was interred in St. Mary's Cemetery, Fargo.

From the description of The Cardinal Aloisius Muench papers. 1906-1963. (Catholic University of America). WorldCat record id: 85595459

Born at Milwaukee, Wisc., ordained 1913. Studied in Europe after World War I, taught at St. Francis de Sales Seminary, named Bishop of Fargo (1935-1959). In 1946, named Apostolic Visitator, and went to work in Germany with refugees. Later named Archbishop. In 1959, he was invested into the College of Cardinals. Died in Europe.

From the description of Collection, 1944-1960, 1969. (North Dakota State University Library). WorldCat record id: 29528421

Roman Catholic bishop of South Dakota; apostolic visitator in Germany.

From the description of The honor of the United States and denazification : typescript, 1947. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122541310

Biographical/Historical Note

Roman Catholic bishop of South Dakota; apostolic visitator in Germany.

From the guide to the Aloisius Joseph Muench typescript : The honor of the United States and denazification, 1947, (Hoover Institution Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Catholic Church corporateBody
associatedWith Catholic Church. Diocese of Fargo (N.D.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Hocking, William Ernest, 1873-1966 person
associatedWith Stern, William, 1886-1964. person
associatedWith St. Francis Seminary (Milwaukee, Wis.) corporateBody
associatedWith St. Mary's Cathedral (Fargo, N.D.) corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
North Dakota
North Dakota--Fargo
North Dakota
Germany History 1945-1955.
Fargo (N.D.)
Post-war reconstruction
Bishops--North Dakota


Birth 1889-02-18

Death 1962-02-15





Ark ID: w6jh3qwf

SNAC ID: 51723580