A Visit To St. Marys

Published by Saint Vincent Archabbey Public Relations on

At the request of the bishop, Fr. Boniface had agreed in the summer of 1847 to celebrate mass for the Catholics of the little town of Indiana once a month. Since this place is located along the road between St. Vincent and St. Mary’s, about 90 miles from the latter, he decided to travel to St. Mary’s in October following his regular visit to Indiana. He made the journey on horseback since the road was just about impassable for a carriage at this time of year. Heavy rains had hollowed the road out in some places; in other places branches, whole tree trunks, and tree roots covered it. Never in his life had Fr. Boniface seen a more impassable trail. In some places he had to ride through potholes filled with water and mud two to three feet deep. For nine miles the road wound through a dense pine forest with not a settlement in sight. On the third day after leaving Indiana he finally saw the “town” he had heard so much about. He stopped at a house whose residents were from Tirschenreut, and asked for directions to the church and the rectory. The people sent a boy to be his guide, since there was still a fairly lengthy stretch of woods in the middle of the so-called town, which blocked any view of what lay beyond.

—From Boniface Wimmer, Abbot of Saint Vincent in Pennsylvania, translated by Dr. Maria Von Mickwitz and Father Warren Murrman, O.S.B., editor.