Boniface Wimmer: Visions of a Founder

Boniface Wimmer Visions of a Founder | A Permanent Gallery Display

February 6
The greatest Catholic missionary of nineteenth-century America," is how the late dean of American Catholic Historians, John Tracy Ellis, described Boniface Wimmer, the founder of Saint Vincent and Benedictine Monasticism in North America. Coming from the Bavarian Abbey of Metten, Wimmer came to America in 1846 to establish the Order of Saint Benedict in the New World, to evangelize the immigrants, and to preserve and strengthen their Catholic faith by providing them with pastoral care and formal education. Read More

Saint Vincent Seminary

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
 On March 18, 1847, Bishop Michael O’Connor of Pittsburgh ordained Father Charles Geyerstanger, the first priest-graduate of Saint Vincent Seminary. Since that day nearly 2,300 diocesan and religious priests, including 28 bishops and archbishops, have been ordained from Saint Vincent. These graduates have exerted considerable influence in Church and society through their teaching and writing, but most of all as priests serving in numerous parishes throughout the country. Read More

The Saint Vincent Touch: Reflection on Meaning

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
For a quarter century, Saint Vincent has been an experience of defining importance to me as a person, a lecturer in religious studies, and a rabbi. There are the unforgettable events: when one of the nuns (pre-food service days) prepared a separate plate of food for me because she noticed that pork, a religiously prohibited food, was on the menu; a weekly lunch-time dialogue between a priest and a rabbi which began as a faith-to-faith encounter and turned into an exceptional friendship; recollections of students’ comments which make me grateful to be a teacher… “I have become stronger in my Christian faith through having taken your course”… “You taught me more about the nature of the Hebrew Bible than I have learned anywhere else”; gathering evergreen branches from around Saint Vincent to cover the harvest booth erected in my backyard in celebration of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. Saint Vincent has been and continues to be a blessed opportunity to learn, to teach, and to practice the art of growing in mind, in spirit, and in person. Read More

Fire Near Saint Vincent Archabbey

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
We arrive with the long snow Read More

The Final Word Is Love

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
From the road, Saint Vincent looks enormous and remote. But once we set foot within its community, we quickly discover how close it really is, and the only thing that’s enormous about it is its heart. Read More

St. Vincent ready to celebrate founder Wimmer

Thursday, March 1, 2012
In the 1860s, St. Vincent Archabbot Boniface Wimmer faced crisis after crisis. Read More

St. Vincent plans year in celebration of founder

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
It took Benedictine Father Boniface Wimmer three years and four attempts to gain permission from his superiors to sail from Bavaria to the United States, where he envisioned spreading the Order of St. Benedict and evangelizing immigrants, especially ones from his native Germany. Read More

Boniface Wimmer: Biblical, Catholic, Benedictine

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Anniversaries have a way of nurturing nostalgia, but they are far more important as reminders of an original vision that can be a guide for the future. And when the monks of Saint Vincent reflect on the history and future of their institution, they must come to terms with the impressive figure of Boniface Wimmer. He did more than found Saint Vincent; he gave it a direction and a momentum that we still feel today. No one would deny his achievements as a founder and a missionary, but there are still misgivings by some about the direction that Wimmer gave to monasticism at Saint Vincent and indeed to the entire congregation of abbeys and priories that derives from his foundation. This would seem to be a good time to examine this crucial issue. Read More

Hart's Sleeping Place First Stop for Boniface Wimmer

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
While Saint Vincent founder Boniface Wimmer eventually settled in Latrobe, where he found the fields and farmland to be more conducive to the community he wanted to establish, his first stop on his mission to America was a little log building called Hart's Sleeping Place, near Carrolltown, Cambria County. The church there, Saint Joseph's Mission Church, is the oldest existing church in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. Father Peter Henry Lemke, who was pastor at the time (and who later became a Benedictine), played a pivotal role in Boniface Wimmer's coming to America. The church was blessed in 1830 by Father Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin. Father Demetrius, born a son of a Russian prince and a German countess, was known as apostle of the Alleghenies. (He is now known as Servant of God Demetrius Gallitzin, as a step in the canonization process.) Read More

Boniface Wimmer: Letters of An American Abbot (2008)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
When Boniface Wimmer, the young Benedictine monk from Metten Abbey, Germany, felt a call to serve the missions in America, he was denied by his superiors three times, three years in succession. But he persisted, and finally was granted permission on his fourth request. Read More

The Heritage of Boniface Wimmer

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
It is wonderful to be at Saint Vincent once again, in this community that nourished me when I was young. And it is truly an honor to have been invited to speak to you this evening. I am particularly delighted to see so many friends-old and new-here tonight. Read More

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