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Fintan Mundwiler



Abbot of the Benedictine monastery of St. Meinrad, Indiana, born at Dietikon in Switzerland, 12 July, 1835; died at St. Meinrad's Abbey, 14 February, 1898. He studied at the monastic school of Einsiedeln in Switzerland, where he took the Benedictine habit in 1854, made profession on 14 Oct., 1855, and was raised to the priesthood on 11 Sept., 1859. A year later he accompanied his confrère, Martin Marty, afterwards Bishop of St. Cloud, to the newly founded monastery of St. Meinrad in Indiana. Having arrived there in September, 1860, he taught in the seminary and attended a few neighbouring missions. While stationed at Terre Haute Indiana (1864), he organized the German Catholic Congregation of St. Benedict, for which he built a church in 1865. In 1869, when St. Meinrad was raised to an abbey and Father Marty became its first abbot, Father Fintan was appointed prior and master of novices. While Abbot Marty worked among the Indians in Dakota (1876-80), Prior Fintan was administrator of the abbey, and, upon the resignation of the former, who had meanwhile been appointed Vicar Apostolic of Dakota, Fintan was elected Abbot of St. Meinrad on 3 February, 1880, and received abbatial benediction from Bishop Chatard of Vincennes on 16 May, 1880. Though above all intent upon the observance of monastic discipline, he in no way neglected the secular interests of his abbey. He enlarged the college, founded the Priory (now Abbey) of Subiaco in Arkansas and the Priory (now Abbey) of St. Joseph in Louisiana, and obtained from Rome the permission to erect the Helvetico-American Congregation of Benedictines, of which he became the first president. When St. Meinrad's Abbey was destroyed by fire on 2 Sept., 1887, the undaunted abbot rebuilt the monastery on even a greater scale, founded a commercial college at Jasper, Indiana, and assisted in the foundation of the Priory of St. Gall in North Dakota. But, in the midst of temporal cares, he remained a man of prayer. He laboured most zealously for the spread of the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and was a fervent promoter of the Priest's Eucharistic League. In 1893 he took part in the Eucharistic Congress held at Jerusalem.

Necrologies in Paradiesesfrüchte, III (St. Meinrad, Indiana, 1898), 65-8; St. John's University Record, IX (Collegeville, Minnesota, 1898), 31-2; Revue Bénédictine, XV (Maredsous, 1898), 188-90.

MICHAEL OTT








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