- Patrick W. Carey
Wimmer, Boniface (14 January 1809–08 December 1887), the founder of Benedictine monastic life in the United States and the first archabbot of St. Vincent's Abbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, the founder of Benedictine monastic life in the United States and the first archabbot of St. Vincent’s Abbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, was born Sebastian Wimmer in Thalmassing, Bavaria, the son of Peter Wimmer, a tavern owner and farmer, and Elizabeth Lang. Sebastian Wimmer was born during the Napoleonic wars and at a time when German Catholic life in general and Benedictine monasticism in particular were undergoing a Romantic revival. He matriculated at the University of Munich (1827–1830), where he studied theology and where the German Romantic revival was in full swing. In 1831, after completing one year of studies for the priesthood at the Regensburg diocesan seminary, he was ordained. His bishop, Johann Michael Sailer, sent him to serve as a curate at the Marian shrine at Altötting in the diocese of Passau because the diocese of Regensburg had more priests than it needed....