Frederick Rese

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Frederick Rese
Bishop of Detroit
Friedrich Reese2.jpg
Bishop Frederick Rese of Detroit, c. 1835
Native name
Friedrich Johann Conrad Reese
InstalledMarch 23, 1833
Term endedDecember 27, 1871
SuccessorCaspar Henry Borgess
Other postsVicar general of Cincinnati
OrdinationMarch 15, 1823
by Placido Zurla
ConsecrationOctober 6, 1833
by Joseph Rosati
Personal details
Born(1791-02-06)February 6, 1791
Vienenburg, Hanover
DiedDecember 27, 1871(1871-12-27) (aged 80)
Hildesheim, Hanover,

Frederick Rese (or Résé) (February 6, 1791 – December 29, 1871) was a German-born American Roman Catholic bishop who served as the first Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Detroit from 1833 until his death.[1][2]


Rese was born in Vienenburg, a small town in the German Electorate of Hanover. From a modest background, he trained as an artisan. In 1813 he joined the Hanoverian cavalry to fight against Napoleon in the German Campaign and took part in the 1815 Battle of Waterloo under command of Field Marshal Blücher.

After the Napoleonic Wars, Rese adopted a clerical career. He went on a pilgrimage to Rome, where he received the Holy Orders by Cardinal Vicar Placido Zurla on 15 March 1823. Rese served in the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and in 1824 met with Edward Fenwick, first Bishop of Cincinnati, who had travelled to Rome to ask Pope Leo XII for support. The Pope engaged Rese to assist him; once arrived in the United States, he became vicar general of the Cincinnati diocese, which included Detroit. In 1828 he was sent to Europe to gain support for the Catholic missions in the U.S. He visited the Austrian capital Vienna, where he helped to found the missionary Leopoldine Society, as well as Munich and Regensburg in Bavaria, Belgium and other parts of Europe until 1831, convincing many to immigrate to the U.S. and found Catholic communities.[3]

When in 1833 Pope Gregory XVI created the Diocese of Detroit, he made Rese the first German-born bishop in the United States. He was consecrated October 6, 1833,[4] by Bishop Joseph Rosati of St. Louis and brought the Order of Poor Ladies to Detroit. He also established Detroit's first convent, and a school for girls.[5] In 1838 he again travelled to Europe, where in Munich he reconciled the establishment of a Bavarian missionary association (Ludwig-Missionsverein) with King Louis I.

About 1840 Rese became demented; uncapable to fulfil his office, he was recalled to Rome.[4] He finally retired to a nursery home of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul in Hildesheim. In accordance with the practice of the time, he remained nominally the Bishop of Detroit for another 30 years until his death in 1871, his diocese administrated by coadjutor bishops. He was succeeded by his compatriot Caspar Henry Borgess.


  1. ^ Clarence Monroe Burton, The City of Detroit, Michigan, 1701-1922, S. J. Clarke publishing company, 1922. p. 1297-1306
  2. ^ "Bishop Frederick John Conrad Résé (Reze)". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  3. ^ Redemptorist North American Historical Bulletin, issue 18, December 2002.
  4. ^ a b Caspar Henry Borgess, the Catholic Encyclopedia
  5. ^ 300 Years of History: The Archdiocese of Detroit

External links[edit]