Christ the King Institute Meitingen

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Memorial plaque on the house at Willdenowstraße 8 in Berlin-Wedding for Max Josef Metzger

The Christ the King Institute in Meitingen was founded in 1919 by Freiburg priest Max Josef Metzger (1887–1944) as the “Mission Society of the White Cross” in Graz and in 1928 it was relocated to Meitingen near Augsburg . It was now called "Christ the King Society" and in 1969 received ecclesiastical recognition as a secular institute in the Roman Catholic Church . After that it was called the "Christ the King Institute".


The history of the Christ the King Institute is directly related to the life and work of Max Josef Metzger. He called himself brother Paul and worshiped the apostle Paul of Tarsus . In autumn 1915 he was called to Graz by Johannes Ude . They worked together in the " Cross Alliance Association of Abstinent Catholics ", later Metzger took over the management of the Austrian Cross Federation and built up the "People's Healing Center". In 1917 the Steyler missionary Wilhelm Impekoven SVD († December 7, 1918), who called himself Brother Gottwills and came from Messdorf near Bonn, joined him. In the same year they founded the " World Peace Alliance of the White Cross ". The next ally was Eduard Hasenbichler , who came to Graz from the Salzburger Land in 1918 , he was called Brother Franz. Brother Franz trained the staff for the People's Healing Center and founded the "Association of Missionary Sacrifice Souls of the White Cross"


On June 27, 1919, the Festival of the Sacred Heart of Jesus , they joined together to form the “Mission Society of the White Cross”. The founding members included: Brother Paulus ( General Manager), Brother Gottweis, Brother Franz, Anna Strnad (Mission Helper), Ernst Burkard (Mission Helper), Elisabeth Bayer (Specialist Teacher), Ludowika Molschensky (Accountant), Anna Eggenberger ( Mission Candidate ), Rudolfa Dörfler ( Mission postulant ), Ottilia Heidegger (mission postulant), Emma Schmiermaul (mission candidate) and Augustine Keimer (mission candidate)


Stumbling blocks in memory of Max Josef Metzger

In 1928 the mission company moved its main focus of work to Meitingen and was renamed “Societas Christi Regis” ( Christ the King Society ) in 1927 ; In 1925 Pope Pius XI. Introduced the Feast of Christ the King for the whole Church. The society had 84 members, six of whom were priests , 15 lay brothers and 63 sisters . In 1933 Joseph Ruf (1905–1940) , who was executed by National Socialism in 1940, entered society as brother Maurus. Max Josef Metzger was executed on April 17, 1944 in the Brandenburg-Görden prison.

Secular institute

For the 50th anniversary year, on the Christ-König-Fest in 1969, the Augsburg Bishop Josef Stimpfle (1916–1996), after the "Nihil obstat" from Rome , announced recognition as a secular institute of diocesan law .

Spiritual movement

In 1919, more sisters and brothers joined. Brother Paulus, when their general leader gave the motto “Christ must be King!”. His goal was that the members should learn to be in the world without living with the world. The “Missionary Friends”, as the members called themselves, make a declaration of commitment on which life is built. No additional requirements are imposed. The measure of all things are the demands that the Catholic Church makes on all of its believers. In their statutes they stipulate that the Mission Society of the White Cross is aimed at the narrower circle of those who seek to establish a kind of modern religious community in the world , be it in the "regulated" form (obligation to poverty, obedience, celibacy , mission ), be it in the "free" way, which is also possible in addition to a civil profession .

Range of tasks

The areas of responsibility have changed over the past few decades. Aligned with social changes and living conditions, the main task of the members is to sacrifice their lives for peace and unity - for peace among peoples and for the unity of the church. The focus is on joint social-apostolic outreaches. Their everyday life is shaped by the celebration of Holy Mass , prayer , meditation and reading of the scriptures .


  • Ralf Putz: The Christ the King Institute, Meitingen and its founder Dr. Max Josef Metzger (1878–1944). For world peace and the unity of the Church. Publishing house Dr. Kovač, Hamburg 1998, ISBN 3-86064-842-X .

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