Father Frank Palermo, a Roman Catholic priest of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, died on March 3, 2018, at Mercy Hospital, in Springfield, Mo. He was 88.
Father Palermo was born on Oct. 24, 1929, in Kansas City, Mo., to the late Frank and Beatrice (Barona) Palermo. He attended Holy Cross Grade School and graduated from St. John Preparatory High School, in Kansas City. He attended St. John Seminary, in Kansas City, and Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, in St. Louis, before being ordained on March 26, 1955.
Father Palermo was one of the first priests of the newly formed missionary Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau and served faithfully with all seven of its bishops for his almost 63 years of priesthood. As pastor he served in a variety of parishes throughout southern Missouri including: St. Mary Parish, Pierce City; St. Henry Parish, Charleston; St. Mary Parish, Seneca; Nativity of Our Lord Mission Church, Noel; Sacred Heart Parish, Webb City; St. Catherine of Siena Mission Church, Humansville; Sacred Heart Parish, Bolivar; St. Peter the Apostle Parish, Joplin; St. Mary Parish, Lamar; and St. Joseph Mission Church, Golden City. Father Palermo also served as parochial administrator of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, in Springfield, and St. Francis de Sales Parish, in Lebanon. He also served for many years in hospital ministry as Chaplain of the non-Catholic hospitals, in Springfield, and as Chaplain at St. John's Regional Health Center (now Mercy), in Springfield, which he did with much care and compassion for those whom he served and their families. After retiring from active ministry in 2000, Father Palermo became Senior Priest in Residence at Holy Trinity Parish, Springfield, where he continued to serve the people of God until health issues made it necessary for him to move to Springfield Villa.
Father Palermo is survived by his sisters, Antionette (Palermo) Snodell and Mary (Palermo) Bauer; his brother, Paul Palermo; as well as several nieces and nephews. Father Palermo was preceded in death by his sisters, Catherine (Palermo) Hudson and Josephine (Palermo) Perry.
Visitation will be at 6 p.m. on Tuesday evening, March 6, at Holy Trinity Parish, 2818 East Bennett Street, in Springfield, followed by a Vespers service for Father Palermo at 7 p.m. The Rite of Christian Burial (funeral mass) will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 7, in Holy Trinity Catholic Church, by The Most Rev. Edward M. Rice, Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. Concelebrating the liturgy will be Bishop Emeritus John J. Leibrecht and the priests of the diocese. Burial will be in Resurrection Cemetery, in Springfield.
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Published on March 6, 2018