At MindsEye, the virtual newsstand, people experiencing blindness, low vision or other physical disability that prevents them from reading – people who are often isolated or alone – tune in to our radio and web broadcasts. They laugh at the comics, ponder politics, find out about shopping specials and hear the latest scores of the Cardinals, Rams and Blues games. Our listeners feel more connected to the outside world.
You can join in right now if you would like to listen live online. If you would like us to provide a free closed-circuit radio for our broadcasts, just let us know.
We hope that you will find our virtual newsstand full of useful, timely and thought-provoking information.
It is with our deepest sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved founder Fr. Boniface WITTENBRINK, OMI (Fr. Boni) on Tuesday, June 13th, 2017.
A visitation and Mass was held on Tuesday, June 20th at Our Lady of Snows Church in Belleville, IL. A Mass of Christian Burial was led by Fr. Louis Studer, OMI and with Fr. Allen Maes, OMI preaching. Stories were shared. Words of love and celebration were spoken by all. Fr. Boni effervesced. He lived his life with liveliness and exhilaration; he made the world a better place.
Fr. Boni was laid to rest at St. Henry’s Oblate Cemetery in Belleville, IL.
He was born on June 30, 1914, in Evansville, IL, to Max and Catherine, nee Paulter, Wittenbrink. He served 76 years as a priest and 81 years as a vowed member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. He was preceded in death by his parents; his sisters, Wilma Kumke, Florentine Froelich, Eleanor Jackson, Sr. Dorine Wittenbrink, FSM, and Agatha Harst; and his brothers Cletus, Raymond, and H.J. Wittenbrink. He is survived by nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to MindsEye or to the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
"...if you think I can help, I’ll do it."
On March 1, 1973, Fr. Boni brought WMRY’s “Talking Book” to the airwaves. This reading service for the blind took local and national print publications brought to life by volunteers and transmitted them to people's homes. Fr. Boni traveled far and wide to raise funds so that the service would be free and create accessibility to those who were visually-impaired and blind. The service founded by Fr. Boni is now known as MindsEye - and continues to flourish to this day.
“I don’t know anything about radio
except how to turn one on and change the batteries
and I sure don’t know anything about blind people except they can’t see.
But if you think I can help,
I’ll do it.”
–Fr. Boni’s words upon being asked to start a radio station for the blind in Belleville, IL in 1972