The counter-reformation

The counter-reformation

Holy Family of Rouffach
Holy Family of Rouffach.The Catholic churches in Haute-Alsace are renovated by the parishioners and by the local lords. Leopld V provides aid in Rouffach, where he has created his residence, for the decoration of the high altar in the Notre-Dame Church. In the background is Isenburg, which was reconstructed by Leopold.

For the archdukes of Austria, religious unity is the basis for political unity in their holdings. In addition, they believe in their responsibility before God and their duties regarding the good of their subjects. In order to maintain their subjects in the Catholic faith or bring them to that faith, the archdukes depend on the new religious orders: the Capuchins and especially the Jesuits, who establish themselves in Molsheim, Freiburg in Breisgau, Ensisheim, the diocese of Basel, and in Porrentruy. Leading an exemplary life, the Jesuits are charged with the mission of seeing to the needs of the faithful and educating young clerics and students. The college of Ensisheim is opened in the capital city of the Hapsburgs in Haute-Alsace. However, the difficulties of the epoch shatter the building and endowment plans. There is not enough money because of the war. In addition, the extermination campaigns of the Mansfeld, followed later by those of the Swedes, destroy the settlements of the Jesuits. In addition to the Jesuits and the Capuchins (in Belfort and Breisach), the following persons support a revival of the secular clergy: Jean Rasser, parish priest of Ensisheim; Adam Reiner, priest of Sewen, Michel Loth, priest of Turckheim. They prove themselves worthy of their mission as parish priests.

The Jesuits open a school in Ensisheim in 1614. However, this significant construction project is not completed because of the arrival of the Swedes in 1632.
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