Fr. Francis de Sales Brunner, C.PP.S.
Fr. Francis de Sales Brunner, C.PP.S. (1795-1859) was a Swiss priest who joined the Missionaries of the Precious Blood in Italy in 1838. He was commissioned to returned to Switzerland that same year to spread religious renewal there. By 1843 he had sufficient personnel to answer the call to come to America to care for the spiritual needs of the many German Catholic immigrants in rural settlements in northwestern Ohio. His initial group of 15 (8 priests and 7 brothers or students) continued to grow in this country, so that by 1891, they were not only serving parishes and giving missions, but entered the educational apostolate by founding Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer Indiana. In 1946, the first contingent of the Missionaries embarked on foreign missions, beginning with Chile in 1946, and later in Peru and Guatemala.