Suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Olmutz, embracing the south-western part of Moravia, an area of 3825 sq. m., and containing, according to the "Catalogus cleri Dioceseos Brunensis 1907", about 1,051,654 inhabitants, 1,000,607 of whom are Catholics.
The erection of the Diocese of Brünn was due to Empress Maria Theresa. The territory comprised in this diocese belonged from a very early period to the Diocese of Olmutz. To obviate the difficulties arising from the administration of such a vast territory, Maria Theresa in 1773 entered into negotiations with Pope Clement XIV . Olmutz was to be raised to the rank of an archbishopric and two newly created bishoprics — Brünn and Troppau — assigned it as suffragans. Eventually, however, only one was created. By a papal Bull of Pius VI, dated 5 December, 1777, Olmutz was made an archbishopric and Brünn erected into an episcopal see. The collegiate chapter of the provostship of Sts. Peter and Paul which had been in existence in Brünn since 1296 was constituted the cathedral chapter, and the provost-church was made the cathedral. Matthias Franz, Count von Chorinsky, mitred provost of the chapter was appointed by the empress first bishop. He was succeeded by Johann Baptist Lachenbauer (1787-99), Vincenz Joseph von Schrattenbach (1800-16), Wenzel Urban Ritter von Stuffler (1817-31), Franz Anton von Gindl (1832-41), Anton Ernst, Count von Schaffgotsche (1842-70), Karl Nöttig (1871-82), Franz Sales Bauer (1882-1904), since 1904 Archbishop of Olmutz, and Paulus, Count von Huyn, b. at Brünn, 1868, appointed bishop 17 April, 1904, and consecrated 26 June, 1904.
For the cure of souls the diocese is divided into 7 archipresbyterates and 37 deaneries with 429 parishes and the same number of parish churches, 30 simple benefices, 545 mission churches ( Filialkirchen ) and oratories. In 1907 the number of secular clergy was 751,612 engaged in the care of souls, 102 in other offices (professors, military chaplains, etc.), and 47 retired from active duty ; regulars, 101, of whom 54 are engaged in the active ministry. The cathedral chapter consists of a dean, an archdeacon, 4 canons capitular, 6 honorary canons, and 1 canon extra statum ; the consistory is composed of 15 members. In Nikolsburg there is a collegiate chapter with 6 canons and 4 honorary canons. The bishop and the 4 capitulars are appointed by the emperor, the dean by the cathedral chapter, and the archdeacon by the bishop. Among the benefices, 26 are by free collation, 106 subject to appointment by administrators of the religious fund, 8 by administrators of the fund for students, 23 by ecclesiastical patrons, 250 by lay families, 22 are incorporated with monasteries, and 2 of mixed patronage. For the training of the clergy there is a seminary, in connection with which is a theological school with 11 ecclesiastical professors, also an episcopal preparatory school for boys. In the intermediate schools of the diocese 67 priests are engaged in teaching religion, in the primary schools and intermediate schools for girls 79 priests.
The following religious congregations have establishments in the diocese : Men: Premonstratensians 1 abbey (Neureisch) with 12 priests ; Benedictines 1 abbey in raigern (from which is issued the well-known periodical "Studien u. Mitteilungen aus dem Benediktiner-und Cistercienserorden"), with 20 fathers and 2 clerics ; the Hermits of St. Augustine 1 foundation in Brünn, with 16 priests and 5 clerics ; the Piarists 1 college at Nikolsburg with 2 fathers and 3 lay brothers ; the Dominicans 1 monastery with 7 fathers and 7 brothers; the Franciscans 2 convents with 7 fathers and 5 brothers; the Minorites 1 monastery with 2 priests and 2 lay brothers ; the Capuchins 3 monasteries with 9 fathers and 8 brothers; the Brothers of Mercy, 2 foundations with 3 priests and 15 brothers. Women: 32 foundations and 379 sisters engaged in the education of girls and the care of the sick: 1 Cistercian abbey (Tischnowitz)with 25 religious; 1 Ursuline convent with 21 sisters ; 1 Elizabethan convent with 19 sisters ; 3 foundations of the Sisters of Mercy of St. Vincent de Paul, with 34 sisters ; 9 houses of the Sisters of Mercy of St. Charles Borromeo , with 71 sisters ; 2 houses of the Daughters of the Divine Saviour with 26 sisters ; 6 convents of the Poor Sisters of Notre Dame with 35 sisters ; 1 house of Daughters of Divine Love, with 24 sisters ; 1 mother-house and 5 branches of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, with 108 sisters, and 1 foundation of the Order of St. Hedwig, with 4 sisters. The above named congregations of women conduct 4 boarding schools for girls, 21 schools for girls, 6 hospitals, 4 orphan asylums, 13 creches, 5 hospital stations, 2 asylums for aged women, 2 homes for the aged, 1 institution for the blind, and 1 home for servant girls. Among the associations to be found in the diocese may be mentioned: the Catholic Journeymen's Union (Gesellenverein), 7; the Society of St. Vincent de Paul , 9 conferences; the Association of Christian Social Workers, the Apostolate of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, the St. Joseph's Verein for men and young men.
Chief among the churches of the diocese is the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul at Brünn; built between the thirteenth and fifteenth century in Gothic style, it was destroyed in 1645, rebuilt as a Renaissance structure (1743-80), remodeled in 1906 and two towers added. The stateliest and most beautiful Gothic church of the diocese is the church of St. James at Brünn, begun as early as the thirteenth century but completed only in 1511. Other prominent ecclesiastical buildings are the church of St. James at Iglau, erected 1230-43, with three naves, a spacious choir, and a Roman portico; the Jesuit church at Brünn, erected in 1582 in the Barocco style.
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