Father Sebastian Palmer, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1899-1948)

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Born Harold J. Palmer in Lewistown, Pennsylvania on December 3, 1899, his parents were Joseph Palmer and Mary Tomey. As a young boy his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio. He professed his vows on May 4, 1919 in Louisville, Kentucky. His religious name was Sebastian. He was ordained on April 27, 1927 by Bishop Howard of Covington, Kentucky at Holy Cross Church, Cincinnati, Ohio. On one Sunday in Lent in 1934, while he was a member of the Cincinnati community, he had gone to Dayton, Ohio to help one Sunday at Holy Angels’ Parish. It was there he found himself in great physical pain. This lasted for weeks and he was unable during this time to say Mass. He was brought to the hospital and kidney stones were removed. He was thought to be near death. Soon another operation was required. This weakened his heart dramatically. It left him unable to minister and he spent much time in the hospital and later in Passionist infirmaries. While turning to prayer he also found this to be a time of loneliness. Sickness until his death was his constant companion. When he was in Cincinnati, prior to this illness he did help with devotions and promoted the Father Walter Guild which was set up as a fund-raising source to benefit the China missions. This was in memory of Father Walter Coveyou who had been murdered by bandits in China in 1929. Father Palmer finally died at Alexian Hospital in Chicago, Illinois as a result of a heart attack.