School Skipper

Published by Saint Vincent Archabbey Public Relations on

Wimmer Wednesday. It took some time for a young Sebastian Wimmer, later known as Archabbot Boniface, to develop good habits, especially in school:

“Sebastian Wimmer rented a room near the Sendlinger gate in Munich, in the house of a certain Bartholomäus Grundner. Due to the fact that Dr. Döllinger had also rented an apartment in the same house, Sebastian attended the lectures of this professor fairly regularly. Because of his special love for the study of history, he rarely missed the lectures of the famous Görres. In contrast, the rest of the professors had entered him on their class rosters but did not know him personally, since he appeared in their lecture halls only a few times at the beginning of the academic year. All the more diligently and regularly, Sebastian, in the company of his speckled poodle, Phylax,3 appeared at the meetings of the fraternity brothers of the “Bavaria.” These meetings had such a strong attraction for him that he even no longer found time for the pious practice of praying the rosary, to which his mother had always held him back home.

“The wild goings-on of the fraternity made time fly for him, in great contrast to his time in Regensburg, where one year in school had often seemed to last endlessly long. However, one day when he consulted his calendar in order to organize his financial affairs, he realized in panic that only one month was left before he would be faced with final exams. His conscience now started to bother him. What was he to do, he asked himself? “Study” was the answer. Quickly he made a decision: now it had to be done, and he settled down to serious studying. Without delay, he looked up some of his friends who were known to be good students and borrowed their notes, and from a used bookstore he obtained textbooks. Every morning he arose at three o’clock and studied furiously.

“The time for the exams approached quickly. Sebastian presented himself quite appropriately at his place in the classroom and actually passed most of the exams with “excellent.” Only the professor of mathematics, Dr. Mangold, showed him the door.”

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