Obituaries, Week of Feb. 27, 2021

Beloved Father, Will Be Missed For His Sense of Humor, Kindness, Warm Smile

Father Paul Palmiotto, a retired priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, died on Feb. 15. He was 68.

Father Paul Palmiotto

Born on May 15, 1952, he was ordained to the Priesthood on March 20, 1982.

Father Palmiotto studied business at Queensborough Community College and sociology at Baruch College.

A lifelong resident of Queens, he served for more than 20 years as pastor of both St. Bonaventure and St. Benedict the Moor in Jamaica. In 2008 he was assigned as pastor of both Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr Church, in Ozone Park.

Father Paul retired in Oct. 2019, after being diagnosed earlier that same year with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He lived in Florida.

“I know that Father Paul was a dedicated priest and beloved by many people. He was also a very good friend. He was a good listener. He had a great sense of humor and would love to joke around with his brother priests whenever we would get together. That’s probably what I will miss the most about Paul,” said Father Thomas Pettei, pastor of Resurrection-Ascension Parish and Our Lady of the Angelus Parish, both in Rego Park. As Episcopal Vicar for Queens, who worked closely with Father Palmiotto during his last years of service. 

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio celebrated a Vigil Mass at St. Andrew Avellino, Flushing, on Feb. 22. The homilist was Father William Sweeney. A funeral Mass was celebrated on Feb. 23 at St. Andrew Avellino, followed by burial in Saint John’s Cemetery, Middle Village. The main celebrant was auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto. The homilist was Msgr. Raymond Roden.   

Brother James McVeigh, O.S.F.

Brother James McVeigh, O.S.F., formerly known as Brother Martin de Porres, a member of the Franciscan Brothers, died in Hospice on Feb 19. He was 74.

He was born in Brooklyn on Oct. 10, 1946. After attending Immaculate Heart of Mary School and the Brothers’ Juniorate in Smithtown, L.I., he entered St. Francis Novitiate in Brookville and received the habit on Aug. 2, 1964.

Brother James received a Sociology degree from St. Francis College, Brooklyn Heights, and began his teaching career at St. Mary Star of the Sea School, Carroll Gardens. He began his graduate studies at American University and St. Mary’s University in 1969, earning a Master of Arts degree in Religious Education. He also taught at Bishop Ford H.S., Windsor Terrace, and St. Anthony’s H.S., then in Smithtown, where he became director of religious activities and then chairperson of the religion department. He reactivated the Tau Fraternity (Third Order of St. Francis).

In 1979, he became Christian service coordinator at St. Francis Prep, Fresh Meadows, followed by 10 years as principal of Our Lady of Hope School, Middle Village. Brother James was then appointed as regional school supervisor for Queens North. He was assistant principal, dean of faculty and director of studies at St. Anthony’s H.S. in South Huntington and began the catechetics program and Kolbe Society.

In 1995, Brother James became assistant superintendent for Essex County in the Archdiocese of Newark. The Franciscan Brothers then appointed him as vocation director for the community for seven years.

In 2007, he was appointed co-vicar for religious in the Diocese of Rockville Centre while continuing his ministry at St. Francis Prep. In 2008, Bishop William Murphy appointed him as director of new evangelization and a member of his cabinet.

He served two terms as vice president of the National Conference of Vicars for Religious. Brother James’ final ministry was as Franciscan mission coordinator for both St. Francis Prep and St. Anthony’s.

A funeral Mass was celebrated on Feb. 23 at St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Melville.  Interment followed in the Brothers’ plot at Holy Rood Cemetery, Westbury.

Redemptorist Priest Remembered as Champion in Prayer, Inspiring Teacher

Father Thomas Jeremiah Barrett, C.Ss.R., a retired priest living at the St. John Neumann Residence, Stella Maris, Timonium, Md., died on Feb. 15. He was 79.

Father Thomas Jeremiah Barrett, C.Ss.R

Born in Brooklyn on Jan. 6, 1942, he was baptized Feb. 1, 1942, and confirmed Nov. 17, 1952, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Sunset Park.

He attended the Redemptorist minor seminary of St. Mary’s College, North East, Pa. (1955-61), and made his first profession on Aug. 2, 1962, at St. Mary’s College, Ilchester, Md.

He attended the major seminary for philosophy first at Mt. St. Alphonsus in Esopus, N.Y., (1962-63), and then at St. Alphonsus College in Suffield, Conn., (1963-64), before returning to Mt. St. Alphonsus Seminary for theological studies between 1964 and 1968.

He made his final profession on Sept. 2, 1965, at Mt. St. Alphonsus and was ordained there on June 18, 1967.

In addition to his baccalaureate degrees, and a master’s degree in religious education, he obtained an MA and Ph.D. in sociology at Fordham University in 1979.

While traveling to give a mission in Ohio in Jan. 1995, Father Barrett was in an automobile collision with a tractor-trailer that put him in intensive care. In Aug. 2006, he returned to Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua, NY. Since 2013, he had been battling lymphoma and other ailments and on April 14, 2014, he began a period of assisted care at the St. John Neumann Residence, Stella Maris, Timonium, Md.

Father Paul Borowski, C.Ss.R., the provincial superior for the Redemptorists of Baltimore, was his student of sociology. “He was a wonderful teacher who I used to joke gave me the lowest grade I ever got in my academic career!” he said.

Father Borowski remembered visiting him in the infirmary in Timonium.

“Even as he dealt with his multitude of illnesses, he never wanted to focus on him. I always loved to hear that he was praying for me which often brought a tear to my eye, knowing the pain and suffering he was enduring, ” Father Borowski said.

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