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Therese Mueller Papers

Identifier: SC-002


The collection contains manuscripts, published articles both by and about Dr. Therese Mueller, announcements of lectures, and correspondence. The collection contains materials in both English and German encompassing various years from 1929-1994. The bulk of the collection is from 1937-1960, and 1979-1994. Articles and books explore such topics as appropriate baptismal garments, the churching of women, recipes, and advice on Christian life in the family.


  • 1929 - 2012

Biographical Background

Dr. Therese Mueller was born to a physician, Franz Geuer, and Maria Muellers in 1905 in Cologne, Germany. In 1924 she began studying economics at the University of Cologne. When her father died in 1925, she had to stay in Cologne to finish her studies. In 1928 she graduated with the Diplom Volkswirte Prüfung, and in 1929 was promoted as Doctor Rerum Politicerum with an economics major and sociology minor. Her dissertation was titled "The Cooperation of Public and Private Welfare Organizations."

In 1930 she married Dr. Franz Mueller, who was at that time an assistant at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Cologne. Due to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi movement, in 1936 Dr. Franz Mueller left for the United States at the request of the University of St. Louis, Missouri. In 1937 Dr. Therese Mueller left for the United States with her three daughters, Mechthild Elizabeth (b. 1931), Hildegard Ursula (b. 1933), and Gertrud Brigitta (b. 1936).

In 1940 the family moved to St. Paul Minnesota after Dr. Franz Mueller was offered a teaching position at the College of St. Thomas. They had two more children, Reinhold Christofer (b. 1940) and Francis Laurence (b. 1948), in the United States.

In addition to being a wife and mother, Dr. Therese Mueller was often asked to write articles or give talks on topics of Christian homemaking and Christian family living. In 1944 she began teaching a course on economic principles in the College of St Catherine’s extension program. She continued teaching various classes in sociology in the summers or on Saturdays throughout the year. She also taught sociology part time at the College of St Thomas.

Dr. Therese Mueller served for several years on the archdiocesan speakers bureau, giving presentations on the liturgical seasons, and has served as a staff member of the archdiocesan ministry for engaged couples. In 1941 she delivered a paper entitled “The Christian Family and the Liturgy” at the second National Liturgical Week. In addition to lectures, she also authored many articles and three books: Family Life in Christ (1941), Our Children’s Year of Grace (1943), and The Christian Home and Art (1950). Most of her publications did not follow her academic discipline, but rather were an expression of her experiences as a wife and mother. In addition to being an educator and an author, she also sculpted religious figures using various media.

Dr. Therese J. Mueller died on January 5, 2002.


1.54 Linear Feet (4 boxes plus oversized items)

Language of Materials



Includes writings by Therese Mueller, both published and manuscripts as well as correspondence, announcements for lectures, and articles written about Therese Mueller.


The collection is organized into eight series. Each series is arranged alphabetically.


Dr. Therese Mueller's granddaughter donated the collection of one box of publications and papers to the Special Collections at the College of St Catherine (now St. Catherine University) in September 2001.

Processing Information

The collection was processed and the finding aid written by Renee Weddle, May 2004

Guide to the Therese Mueller Papers St. Catherine University Archives and Special Collections
Renee Weddle, MLIS Graduate Student; revised by Amy Shaw, December 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the St. Catherine University Special Collections Repository

St. Catherine University
Archives and Special Collections
2004 Randolph Avenue
St. Paul MN 55105 U.S.A.