A German Catholic association for the encouragement and diffusion of edifying, instructive, and entertaining literature. It was founded in Bonn, in 1845, by Franz Xavier Dieringer, one of the professors of the Catholic theological faculty at Bonn, August Reichensperger, and Freiherr Max von Loe. From the first the society placed itself under the protection of the episcopate. Cardinal Jobannes von Geissel, Cardinal Krementz, and Archbishop Simar did much to further its aims, and it gradually spread over the whole of Germany, so that by the middle of 1907 it had 145,250 members, who were grouped in 258 main societies and 3,247 branches. The administrative departmentand chief office are at Bonn. The society has 73 branches outside of Germany : in Belgium, 6; France, 2; Holland, 4; Italy, Luxembourg, 36; Austria, 6; Switzerland, 18. In 1906 its total income was $124,743, and its expenses, $123,174. In accordance with its by-laws the society seeks:
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