Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Alumni Obituaries

Fr. Herbert Palmer, OSB

On August 31, 2012 at 10:45 a.m., Fr. Herbert Palmer O'39 slipped away from this earthly existence to the heavenly existence. He persevered in his monastic commitment for 78 years. He was a priest for 73 years. Fr. Herbert Palmer was born James Thomas Palmer on November 3, 1914 to Roy Jackson and Lillian (Forester) Palmer in Murphysboro, Illinois. Fr. Herbert was one of six children born to the Palmer family. Two of his siblings entered the Benedictine monastic order along with him. They were Fr. Jerome Palmer, OSB of Saint Meinrad Archabbey and Sr. Mary Robert Palmer, OSB of the Benedictine Sisters of Ferdinand, Indiana. One of his siblings died in infancy (Martin)and the other two remained in the lay state (Paul and Marie).He entered the Minor Seminary at Saint Meinrad in Indiana 1928-1933. The Major Seminary followed from 1934 to 1939. He was received as a Novice on August 5, 1933 and professed Simple Vows on August 6, 1934. He entered into Solemn Vows on August 6, 1937 with Rt. Rev. Ignatius Esser, OSB receiving his vows. Bishop Joseph E Ritter, D.D. ordained him a Deacon on June 7, 1938 and he was ordained a priest a year later on May 30, 1939. He celebrated his First Mass at his home parish of St. Andrew's Church in Murphysboro, Illinois on June 4,1939. He was assigned as Office Manager of the Abbey Press in 1939 and was Professor of English in the Minor Seminary from 1947-1954. Fr. Herbert was given permission to study at Rosary College in River Forest, Illinois, where he received his Master of Arts degree in Library Science. After his studies he resumed teaching English in the Minor Seminary but was assigned as Librarian for the Minor Seminary as well. He held these positions from 1955 to 1967. He was assigned to the foundation Priory of St. Charles in Oceanside in 1967 and arrived on Benet Hill on September 1, 1967. Besides being the Librarian, which he held until the day of his death, he was assigned as Sacristan and appointed Novicemaster from 1968-1969. He was appointed Subprior on April 17, 1972. He would be responsible for Mass Intentions and would be Chronicler the Abbey from 1984-1989. He assisted many of the parishes in the Oceanside and San Diego areas. Fr. Herbert reveled in relating stories of his days at Saint Meinrad and the many monks who influenced him in his monastic walk. He would often reminisce about his childhood years in Murphysboro, Illinois with the likes of "Froggy" Bashan.He slipped silently into eternal life at Prince of Peace Abbey to join the rest of his siblings and his beloved parents who all went before him. He leaves behind some family, in particular, Marilyn Palmer and family of San Diego and the John Palmer family of Jacksonville, Florida. The wake was held in the Abbey Church, 650 Benet Hill Rd., Oceanside, on September 4, 2012. The Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. in the Abbey Church with burial in the Abbey Cemetery following the funeral liturgy. There will be a reception following the burial.From the North County Times and Prince of Peace Abbey"