Brother Bernard Paul Palmeri, CSC
February 28, 1944 – December 24, 2018
Bernard Paul Palmeri was the youngest child of Joseph Palmeri and Blanche Engelhardt Palmeri. He had two older brothers and two older sisters. He was born in New Orleans on February 28, 1944. His father was a fruit salesman in the city of New Orleans. Bernard grew up in Our Lady Star of the Sea parish on St. Roch Avenue where he was baptized and confirmed. When it came time for school, however, he went to John Shaw Elementary School.
He transferred to Holy Cross School in New Orleans in 1957 along with several of his classmates. He was involved in a number of sports at Holy Cross including football and wrestling. He graduated from Holy Cross in May of 1962 and accepted the offer of Brother Donald Hanzel to spend a summer in Watertown, Wisconsin to see if he might want to devote his life to being a Brother of Holy Cross.
He entered the program at Sacred Heart Juniorate in Watertown on June 16, 1962. From there he went to St. Joseph Novitiate in Rolling Prairie, Indiana where he was received as a novice on August 15, 1962. He made his first profession there on August 16, 1963 and then journeyed with the majority of his profession group to Austin, Texas where they began studies at St. Edward’s University and lived at Vincent Hall.
He graduated from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Education and Accounting. He eventually earned a Master’s in Counseling at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas in 1980. He also eventually made his perpetual profession of vows on August 10, 1973 at St. Edward’s University in Austin.
He also began a successful career as a teacher, coach and school counselor. He spent time at St. Anthony High School in Long Beach, California; at Holy Cross High School in San Antonio, Texas; at Archbishop Curley High School in Miami, Florida; and at St. Francis High School in Mountain View, California. He coached football, wrestling, track and soccer. He served as a full-time mental health counselor at St. Peter/St. Joseph Children’s Home in San Antonio.
He entered full-time work for the Province for a number of years, serving as a Candidate Director, a Formation Director, and a member of the Provincial Council. From 1985 through 1992 he served as the South-West Province Promoter of Vocations.
In 1992, he accepted the call to help form a new religious residence in Beaumont, Texas, along with three other Brothers. Brother Bernard began work for Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Beaumont as an Individual, Marriage and Family Counselor. Part of his work entailed working with the six elementary schools and one high school in the Diocese. In 2000, he moved to full-time work with the schools. In 2009 his physical health began to deteriorate rapidly and he moved to the Brother Vincent Pieau Residence in Austin.
After a fall and a slight heart attack on December 20 he was taken to the hospital. In the fall he sustained a fracture in his lower back. He and his doctors determined that the operation to repair the damage was very risky especially due to his heart condition. Together they decided he would enter hospice care and return to the Brother Vincent Pieau Residence. He returned on December 24, 2018 (Christmas Eve) and passed away that afternoon at home where he wanted to die.
Services for Brother Bernard, CSC will be held at the chapel of the Brother Vincent Pieau Residence, Austin, Texas.
The Memorial Service will be held on January 4, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on January 5, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. followed by interment at Assumption Cemetery.