Cardinal Rigali to Celebrate Mass to Close Wimmer Anniversary Year; Bavarian Prince to be Honored

Members of the Saint Vincent Archabbey, College, and Seminary and Parish communities are preparing to close the yearlong celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Founder Boniface Wimmer with a solemn Mass celebrated by His Eminence Cardinal Justin Rigali on Thursday, November 19. The Mass will be held at the Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica, beginning at 2:15 p.m. with a musical prelude from The Boniface Wimmer Music Collection. The Mass begins at 3 p.m.
Bishops from the dioceses of Greensburg, Altoona-Johnstown, Covington, Erie, Nashville, Savannah and Steubenville; eleven abbots, including the Abbot Primate, Notker Wolf, O.S.B., Rome; the Lady Abbess Franziska Kloss, Eichstätt, Germany; and His Royal Highness Prince Ludwig of Bavaria will be among those attending the Mass. Prince Ludwig, who is a great-great-grandson of the last King of Bavaria, Ludwig III, will receive the Saint Vincent College Presidential Medal of Honor at the conclusion of the Mass.

The Boniface Wimmer Music Collection, begun by Wimmer, includes over 3,000 manuscripts and early editions of sacred and secular music, and was supported by King Ludwig I of Bavaria. Transcriptions of the works of Joseph Matthias Kracher and Boniface Krug, O.S.B., were prepared and edited by Father Stephen Condordia, O.S.B. for the Bicentennial Mass of Thanksgiving.

The concert and Mass will be streamed live via a special website set up in honor of the Wimmer anniversary year, Boniface Wimmer, O.S.B., was the Bavarian Benedictine who, in 1846, led a band of 18 novices to Pennsylvania, and founded the first Benedictine monastery in the United States at Saint Vincent. By the time he died in 1887, he had established seven Benedictine abbeys, 150 Benedictine parishes, and 75 Benedictine schools in America, and Benedictine priests under his supervision were providing pastoral care for more than 50,000 souls.

The events at the annual community Founders’ Day celebration include an exhibit in the Saint Vincent Gallery, as well as a coverlet exhibit in the Foster & Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery in the Fred M. Rogers Center. Reservations are suggested for reserved seating in the Basilica.


Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, will be the principal celebrant and homilist at the closing ceremonies of the Wimmer 200th anniversary celebration, scheduled for Thursday, November 19. Cardinal Rigali, a Los Angeles native, attended Catholic schools in Los Angeles and studied in the archdiocesan seminaries at Los Angeles College, Our Lady Queen of Angels Seminary in San Fernando and Saint John’s College and Saint John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California. He was ordained a priest by Cardinal James Francis McIntyre in the Cathedral of Saint Vibiana in Los Angeles on April 25, 1961. In October 1961, he entered the graduate division of the North American College in Rome and began graduate studies in canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University . He obtained a doctorate in Canon Law from that university in 1964. From 1964 to 1966, he followed the course of studies at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, while serving in the English-language section of the Secretariat of State of the Vatican.

From September 1966 to February 1970, he served at the Apostolic Nunciature in Madagascar, which also was the Apostolic Delegation for the islands of Mauritius and La Reunión. During this time in July 1967, he was named a Papal Chamberlain (Monsignor) to His Holiness Pope Paul VI.

In February 1970, Monsignor Rigali became the director of the English-language section of the Vatican Secretariat of State, and the English-language translator for Pope Paul VI, whom he accompanied to various countries. Monsignor Rigali served as a professor at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome from 1972 to 1973.

During his service at the Vatican Secretariat of State, he also accompanied Pope John Paul II on a number of international pastoral visits, including the Holy Father’s first two major journeys to the United States in 1979 and 1987. On April 19, 1980 he was named a Prelate of Honor of His Holiness. He became a magistral chaplain in the Knights of Malta on October 25, 1984. On October 13, 1986, he became a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre. On June 8, 1985, he was named President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy and Titular Archbishop of Bolsena. Pope John Paul II ordained him to the episcopacy on September 14, 1985 in the Cathedral of Albano.

From 1985 to 1990, in addition to being President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, he held a number of positions at the Vatican, serving the Secretariat of State, the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church, the Congregation for Bishops and the Pontifical Council for the Laity. On December 21, 1989, he was named Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops and on January 2, 1990 he became the Secretary of the College of Cardinals. He was a member of the Permanent Interdicasterial Commission and served as a consultant to the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. During the same time, he was also engaged in pastoral services to a number of parishes and seminaries in Rome.

On January 25, 1994, Pope John Paul II appointed him the eighth Bishop and seventh Archbishop of St. Louis. He was formally installed on March 15, 1994 by His Eminence Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. He received the Pallium from the Holy Father on June 29, 1994. That same year, on November 7, he became a member of the Knights of Columbus.

On July 15, 2003, Pope John Paul II appointed Archbishop Rigali as the twelfth Bishop and eighth Archbishop of Philadelphia. He was named a Cardinal on September 28, 2003. On October 7, 2003, he was installed Archbishop of Philadelphia by Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, the Apostolic Nuncio, in the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. Cardinal Rigali is the spiritual leader of almost 1.5 million Catholics in the City of Philadelphia and the surrounding counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery. He is also a successor of Saint John Nepomucene Neumann, the fourth Bishop of Philadelphia (1852-1860) and the first canonized male American saint.

Two weeks after his installation as Archbishop of Philadelphia, he was formally created a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II in the Public Consistory in Saint Peter’s Square on October 21, 2003. He was assigned the Titular Church of Saint Prisca in Rome. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed Cardinal Rigali a member of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops on September 26, 2007. He is also a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and a member of the Congregation’s Vox Clara Committee. In addition, he is a member of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See. Currently, Cardinal Rigali is the Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee for Pro-Life Activities and is the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Aid to the Catholic Church in Central and Eastern Europe. He is a member of the Committee on the Liturgy, the Committee on the Relationship Between the Eastern and Latin Catholic Churches, the Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of Scripture Translations and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Black and Indian Mission Office. He was elected by the United States bishops in 2006 to serve as the national delegate to the Plenary Assembly of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress, and in 2005 as a delegate to the Eleventh Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which celebrated the theme “The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church.”


Abbot Primate Notker Wolf, O.S.B., is the Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical College of Sant’ Anselmo, Rome, and representative of the Benedictine Order in Rome. The Benedictine Order consists of monasteries of 8,500 men and 16,500 women throughout the world.

Abbot Primate Notker was born in Bad Grönenbach, Allgäu, Germany. He completed his philosophical studies at Sant’ Anselmo in 1965, and earned a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Munich. He entered the Archabbey of Saint Ottilien, Ammersee, Germany in 1961. He served as a professor of philosophy and scientific theory at Sant’ Anselmo prior to his election as Archabbot of Saint Ottilien and Abbot President of the Benedictine Congregation of Saint Ottilien. He was elected Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation in 2000 and is the ninth Abbot Primate since the Benedictine Confederation was established in 1893.

Abbot Primate Notker serves as Chair for Aid to Benedictine Monasteries in Africa, Asia and Latin America; the Interreligious Monastic Dialogue; and the Benedictine Commission on China. He is also a member of the European Academy of Sciences; member of the Advisory Board of the Gothaer Versicherungsbank (Germany) and member of the Congregation for Religious (Rome). He has traveled the world to promote the Benedictine way of life. He has received numerous awards including the Bavarian Order of Merit and the Great Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Bavarian Constitution Medal, the Wolfram-Engels Award, and the Pax Christi Award of Saint John’s Abbey and University. He is fluent in English, Italian, German, French, Spanish, Latin and Greek.

He has authored Out of the Blue (Munich: Rowohlt, 2008), Rules for Life: The Ten Commandments—Provocation and Guidance for Today (Freiburg: Herder, 2008), and God Bless You! New Ideas for Living Here (Munich: Rowohlt, 2009).

He was the keynote speaker at the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Saint Vincent Archabbey in 1996, and also at the vespers service marking the opening of the Boniface Wimmer 200th anniversary year in January, 2009.


His Royal Highness Prince Ludwig was born on June 14, 1982, at Landsberg am Lech and grew up at Schloss Kaltenberg, which is located near the Benedictine Monastery of Saint Ottilien in Germany. He attended the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich and the Georg August University in Göttingen where he studied political science and international law. He also served internships at the German Parliament in Berlin and the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Prince Ludwig has a deep and longstanding interest and commitment to issues involving human rights. He is currently conducting research on human rights issues which will serve as the foundation for his work in the field of international law.

His Royal Highness Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, a member of the Bavarian Royal House of Wittelsbach, is currently third in the line of succession to be head of the Royal House. His Royal Highness Prince Ludwig is the eldest son of Their Royal Highnesses Prince Luitpold and Princess Beatrix of Bavaria. He is the grandson of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Irmingard of Bavaria, and a great-great-grandson of the last King of Bavaria, Ludwig III.

The Wittelsbach Family was the ruling dynasty of German territories of Bavaria from 1180 to 1918. It was during the reign of his ancestor, His Majesty King Ludwig I, that Boniface Wimmer, a Benedictine monks of Metten Abbey, began his mission to America in 1846 – a mission that included the founding of Saint Vincent Archabbey and the establishment of the Benedictine Order in North America.

In 1939, His Royal Highness Duke Albrecht of Bavaria, in an act of opposition to the Nazi regime in Germany, moved his family to Hungary. Duke Albrecht was the father of Duke Franz of Bavaria, the current head of the Royal Family, and great-uncle of Prince Ludwig. The Wittelsbach Family lived in Budapest for four years before moving to Sárvár, Vas, Hungary. In October 1944, when the Nazis occupied Hungary, the Wittelsbach Family was arrested and imprisoned in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp at Oranienburg, Brandenburg. In April 1945, they were moved to the Dachau concentration camp, where they were finally liberated by the United States Third Army.

Saint Vincent Archabbey is pleased to welcome Prince Ludwig to the celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Boniface Wimmer, the founder of Saint Vincent Archabbey and the Benedictine Order in North America. Prince Ludwig is representing His Royal Highness Franz, The Duke of Bavaria, and the Royal House of Wittelsbach. In 1996, His Royal Highness Duke Franz was the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Saint Vincent College on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the founding of Saint Vincent.

In paying tribute to His Royal Highness Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, Saint Vincent College also pays tribute to His Royal Highness Duke Franz and all of the members of the Royal House of Wittelsbach for the great contributions they make to the educational, cultural and humanitarian causes of the people of the German Republic and of those in need throughout the world.


Numerous letters of Boniface Wimmer attest to the fact that music was, from the beginnings of the foundation, an essential element in his academic, cultural, monastic, and pastoral plans. As early as 1849 Wimmer wrote to King Ludwig I and other Bavarian benefactors thanking them for their gifts of musical instruments, speaking of the progress of the choirs, chamber ensembles, orchestra, and musical instruction in the Seminary, College, and Monastery. Since it was as early as 1853, that “the simplest Sunday Mass meant a high mass with orchestra” (Saint Vincent College Journal, 1910), a sizable collection of musical scores grew from the earliest years of the foundation. The earliest catalogue and inventory dates from 1859, numbering at that time over 600 large-scale works.

Of most notable interest in the Collection are the numerous 18th century manuscript copies of symphonic works brought to Saint Vincent by Wimmer in 1855. There are 20 symphonic works of Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) and 13 of his brother Michael Haydn (1737-1806), including the Symphony in D. The manuscripts that have received the most attention, however, are those of Joseph Matthias Kracher (1752-1835) an associate of Michael Haydn, an organist, composer, and choirmaster at the collegiate church of Seekirchen, Austria. Kracher’s known compositions, all of which are sacred compositions for choir, soloists and orchestra, number over 200.

Twenty-two autograph manuscripts of his Graduals and Offertories, thought to have been lost, are preserved in the Wimmer Collection, including the Gradual “This place was made by God” (Locus iste), and the Offertory “My house shall be called a house of prayer” (Domus mea). Boniface Krug, O.S.B. (1838-1909), who made his profession at Saint Vincent in 1860, was professor of Music and composer of numerous sacred choral works, including his “Ave Maria”. Three volumes of his compositions were published in Italy (Bologna, 1912), where he had transferred his stability, becoming the Abbot of Montecassino. Transcriptions of the works of Joseph Matthias Kracher and Boniface Krug, O.S.B., were prepared and edited for the Bicentennial Mass of Thanksgiving by Father Stephen Condordia, O.S.B. of Saint Vincent Archabbey.

The Boniface Wimmer Music Collection represents to date over 3000 manuscripts and early editions of sacred and secular music. It has received attention from scholars of music history and musicology since the doctoral dissertation of Fred Moleck (University of Pittsburgh, 1970) and most recently that of Richard R. Rossi (University of Illinois, 2008). The complete database, begun in 1997 by Rev. Jerome Purta, O.S.B., will ensure and facilitate future research, publications, and performances.