Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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FRANSIOLI, Joseph, clergyman, born in the canton of Ticino, Switzerland, 30 November 1817. He studied in the College of Pollegio and the seminaries of Monza and Milan, and in 1840 was ordained priest. His first missionary work was in his native canton, but he was soon promoted to the rectorship of the Church of St. Maurice, where he remained twelve years, he was then appointed principal of the Normal school by the government of Milan, and had three hundred teachers under his control. He filled this post for two years, and did much to advance popular education. He was compelled to resign it through ill health, and, with the consent of his bishop, he sailed for the United States in the following year.
Shortly after landing he went to Brooklyn and was assigned to duty in the parish of St. Charles. In 1859 he was appointed to open a new parish in the neighborhood of Hicks and Warren Streets. In the following year the parish of St. Peters was founded, and a large Church erected with a congregation of 3,000, which under his ministry has increased to 17,000, thus forming the largest parish in the diocese of Brooklyn. In 1866, at a cost of over $60,000, he built the academy that adjoins St. Peter's Church, in which about 2,000 children receive free instruction. During the war he established a home for orphans, and afterward erected St. Peter's hospital. In 1878 he purchased, at a cost of $80,000, the remainder of the block on which St. Peter's Church stands, and all the buildings on it were devoted to charitable purposes. He is now (1887) about to erect on this estate a hospital at a cost of 8200,000. He afterward secured possession of the chapel of the Church of the Pilgrims, and, after completely remodeling it and building additions, converted it into a library, school, and kindergarten.
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