Mundwiler, Fintan

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Second abbot of st. meinrad, Ind.; b. Dietikon, Zurich, Switzerland, July 12, 1835; d. St. Meinrad, Feb. 14, 1898. He studied at the claustral school at einsiedeln, entered that monastery in 1854, and was ordained in 1859. With Martin marty, later abbot and bishop, Mundwiler was sent (1859) to the newly founded monastery of St. Meinrad, where he served as rector of the school and first prior (1870). Upon Marty's nomination as vicar apostolic of the Dakota Territory, Mundwiler was elected second abbot of St. Meinrad on Feb. 3, 1880. During his term of office St. Meinrad experienced many difficulties, including the destructive fire of 1887, the struggles to rebuild, and certain internal dissensions. With tact and moderation Abbot Fintan brought about a renewal in observance, the reconstruction of the abbey, and an increase in school enrollment. Under him St. Meinrad's daughter-house, New Subiaco in Arkansas, was made an abbey (1891), and St. Joseph's Abbey in Louisiana was founded (1889). He was the first president (1881) of the Swiss-American Congregation of benedictines, and he composed the congregation's first statutes.

Bibliography: Archives, St. Meinrad Archabbey, Einsiedeln, Conception Abbey, St. Joseph's Abbey, and New Subiaco Abbey. a. kleber, History of St. Meinrad Archabbey, 18541954 (St. Meinrad, IN 1954).

[c. davis]