Featuring more than 100 images from the Archabbey’s Glass Plate Negative collection, many of these images have never been published. Recently digitized and retouched, this coffee table book traces the building of Saint Vincent in a visual journey, from its Benedictine life to a growing college to early sports teams, local scenes, and more.
Saint Vincent Archabbey is blessed with a dynamic history that showcases the strength and determination of an early group of Benedictine monks led by its founder Boniface Wimmer. This book brings that history to life by creating a photographic journey of Saint Vincent’s foundations in faith to its modern mission with this book showcasing different aspects of Saint Vincent history. More than 600 images from the Archabbey archives have been part of a multi-year preservation and digitization project. Images from the glass plate negatives range in age from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. The collection ranges from portraits of monks to prep school and college athletes to buildings and architecture around campus and photos in the local community.
In 1846, Boniface Wimmer led a band of 18 novices to Pennsylvania, where he founded the first Benedictine monastery in the United States at Saint Vincent. He wanted Saint Vincent to be a self-sustaining community, and it was. A gristmill, brewery, and farm operation supplemented the main work of the monastic community, which was ministering to the needs of Catholics in the region and educating young men. By the end of his life, he had established seven Benedictine abbeys, 150 Benedictine parishes and 75 Benedictine schools in America, and Benedictine priests under his supervision were providing personal care for more than 50,000 souls.
These images provide a glimpse into Boniface Wimmer’s foundation at Saint Vincent and all he and his successors were able to accomplish.