I was surprised to read that they were all Franciscans. Pat McNamara’s blog has this fascinating information in his column from a couple of weeks ago. Three of the first American missioners were blood brothers, born in Germany, who, in 1875, escaped from Bismarck’s anti-Catholic Kulturkampf by coming to the United States. Here they continued their studies for the priesthood and were ordained. Father Remy Goette, O.F.M., was the first to be sent to China in 1881 and his two brothers followed some years after. McNamara even has the facts about the first American-born missioner to China, Father Francis X. Engbring, O.F.M., who arrived there in 1888. Read more here.