Charbonnel, Armand-François-Marie de

Armand-François-Marie de Charbonnel, Roman Catholic bishop of Toronto (b near Monistrol-sur-Loire, France 1 Dec 1802; d at Crest, France 29 Mar 1891). Of noble birth, Charbonnel entered the priesthood in the Society of St-Sulpice. Coming to North America in 1839, he served as priest in Montréal until 1847. He was consecrated bishop of Toronto in 1850. As bishop, he pressured the Famine Irish laity and politicians to gain separate education for Catholics. The Basilian Fathers, the Christian Brothers and the Sisters of St Joseph were brought to Toronto to assist with education and social work. He established St Michael's College, the House of Providence to shelter the sick, aged and orphaned, and instituted the St Vincent de Paul Society, the Toronto Savings Bank and other charitable associations.

Utilizing his paternal estate, Charbonnel eradicated the diocesan debt, including that of St Michael's Cathedral. He succeeded in having the large diocese of Toronto divided into 3 sees (Toronto, Hamilton, London) in 1856. Living an exemplary life of a beggar among the Irish poor, Charbonnel resigned his see in 1860, entering the Capuchin Order in France and later becoming the archbishop of Sozopolis.