The Rev. John M. Palmer, C.S.V. died April 2, 2023 at Northwest Community Hospital. He was 81. He was born on Oct. 19, 1941 in Nova Scotia, Canada to Owen and Madeleine Palmer who preceded him in death. His sister Candace and his brother William also preceded him in death.
In January 1965, Fr. Palmer came to the U.S. from Halifax, Nova Scotia to enter the novitiate of the Clerics of St. Viator. He made his first profession in 1966 and was ordained a priest on Jan. 2, 1971 at St. John Church, in Windsor, Nova Scotia.
Fr. Palmer graduated from Windsor Academy in Nova Scotia in 1960. He earned a BA in Music from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia (1964). Before his ordination, Fr. Palmer completed his seminary studies at the Viatorian Seminary and Washington Theological Coalition, both in Washington D.C. He earned a MA in Music at Northwestern University, a performance diploma (ARCT) for organ at Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, a Licentiate in piano (LTCL) and a Fellowship in organ (FTCL) both from Trinity College of Music in London. He also studied with Jean Langlais in Paris.
From 1971 to 1972, Fr. Palmer served as director of music at Christ the King Church, Chicago and St. Viator Parish, both Chicago. He served as professor of music at Benedictine University at Lisle, where he taught from 1971 until he retired in 2004 as Professor Emeritus. Fr. Palmer also provided sacramental ministry on weekends at St. Petronille Parish in Glen Ellyn, from 1987 until 2020. In 2022, Fr. Palmer moved to the Viatorian Province Center in Arlington Heights. In addition to his teaching and parish work, Fr. Palmer has given numerous organ recitals in Europe, Canada and the U.S. and served as an examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.
A Mass of Christian Burial took place April 5, 2023 at the Province Center. Fr. Palmer was interred at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, IL