Rev. Michael C. Palmer, who served as the pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Church in Wilton for over 36 years, passed away on Monday, Aug. 14, 2023 in Greenwich. He was 86 years old.
He is survived by his siblings, Priscilla Palmer Thifault of Martha’s Vineyard, MA, Diana Palmer Yeakel of Guilford, William R. Palmer III of FL, and Richard T. Palmer of North Carolina, as well as many loving nieces and nephews.
Michael Coleman Palmer was born on Feb. 20, 1937, in Stamford to William R. Palmer Jr. and Mary Madeline (Coleman) Palmer. He was baptized at St. John Catholic Church in Stamford, and received his First Holy Communion and Confirmation at St. Cecilia Church. He attended Stamford High School and later St. Thomas Seminary College.
Fr. Palmer received his priestly formation at St. Bernard’s Seminary in Rochester, NY, graduating in 1959 with a B.A. in Philosophy. He was ordained to the priesthood at St. Augustine Cathedral on May 25, 1963, by Most Reverend Walter W. Curtis, S.T.D.
Following his ordination, Fr. Palmer was assigned as an Assistant Priest at St. Thomas Parish, Fairfield. In 1965, he was assigned as a full member of the faculty of Christ the King Preparatory Seminary, Southport, and taught for five years. In September 1970, he was appointed full-time faculty member of St. Mary High School in Greenwich.
Fr. Palmer earned his master’s degree in education (counseling) from Fairfield University in June 1970. He also completed a period of Sabbatical Study in 1979 in the Department of Theology within the School of Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America.
In June 1971, Fr. Palmer was appointed temporary administrator of the Parish of St. John in Darien. He was appointed associate pastor of the team ministry at St. Ambrose Parish in Bridgeport in September 1971, and was appointed pastor there in 1974.
In June 1977, Fr. Palmer was appointed to Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Wilton and served as pastor for 36 years. He retired on June 30, 2013, following his 50th Anniversary of Ordination. He then became a resident of the Catherine Dennis Keefe Queen of the Clergy Residence in Stamford.
Throughout his priestly ministry, in addition to various parish assignments, he served the diocese by accepting appointments to the College of Consultors; was elected to the Presbyteral Council; and served as President of the Board of Directors of Region IV Catholic School System.
His family will receive friends on Thursday, Aug. 17, from 3-7 p.m. with a Vigil Prayer Service celebrated by Monsignor Robert Crofut at 7 p.m., at Our Lady of Fatima Church (229 Danbury Rd.). His Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 18 by Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, and will be livestreamed on the OLF Wilton website. Burial will be held privately.
For directions or to send a message of condolence to his family, visit the Magner Funeral Home online.