Better Offer

Published by Saint Vincent Archabbey Public Relations on

Wimmer Wednesday. Boniface Wimmer meets with Bishop Michael O’Connor of Pittsburgh.

“Father Boniface then set out for Pittsburgh to pay his respects to the Most Reverend Bishop and to present his references to him. While the bishop expressed his appreciation for Father Boniface’s plan, he at the same time suggested to him that Carrolltown, in his opinion, was not at all suited as a place for a monastery and a boys’ seminary. The bishop said he himself would make him a far better offer, since he had a place that was just cut out for that kind of an institution. This place was closer to the city, only forty miles away, and much closer to transportation. In fact, a railroad line which would connect Philadelphia with Pittsburgh was already in the process of being built, and was located quite close to this place. In short, they agreed to make the journey to this place, that is, Saint Vincent, the very next day.

“Already his first glimpse of the area convinced Father Boniface that here the land was more fertile and the climate milder than in the Allegheny Mountains where Carrolltown was located. Moreover, a parish already existed here, with sixty families, half of which spoke the German language, though the majority of them had been born in America. Here Father Boniface found a fine looking church, built of bricks, 87 feet in length and 57 ½ feet in width, a two-story rectory, 40 feet square, along with several farm buildings. This church comes with two pieces of property. On one of these, 315 acres in size, the above buildings are located. The other one, 150 acres in size, is seven miles away from the first. Father Boniface had to agree completely with the bishop that this place had many more advantages for the establishment of a monastery and a seminary than St. Joseph’s and Father Lemke’s place in Cambria County. He took leave of the bishop with many thanks, hurried back to Carrolltown, and related to his companions what he had seen and what a promising offer he had received.”

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