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Fr. Jason: A Brief Introduction

Posted: 07/02/2024
Dear Parishioners of St. Alphonsus:
As you read this article, some of the hardest months of priesthood have passed in my life. It is very difficult to mourn your mother and then leave a familiar place after 15 years. But the time for goodbyes has passed, the promises of staying in touch with my previous parish family have been made, and now it is time to open a new chapter in my life. I come to you as a country priest with a listening ear and a desire to embrace a new family. I will be brutally honest with you and let you know that I never saw myself as a priest within East Baton Rouge Parish. But I appreciate Bishop Duca's confidence and I trust that the Holy Spirit guides his discernment as our bishop, and as a result, I pray daily that God give me the grace to do what He needs me to do as a pastor at this part of your parish history.
Holy Mass is not the time to do a biographical sketch. It is the time for us to worship God and to be fed by His Word and the Blessed Sacrament. For now, I just want to tell you that I am a native of Plaquemine, and my parents, Peter & Yvonne Palermo, had given up on having a child when I came along. They grew to accept my calling to the priesthood after I wrestled for eight years with the call between my tenth grade year at St. John High School and my post-college career at Edward Jones Investments. I entered the seminary at age 23 and ordained a priest at age 27. My father passed in May 2015 at the age of 90, and my mother passed in June 2023 at the age of 80.
Some of my greatest joys are simply ministering for your joyous occasions. If I can do an exceptional job with the Sunday homily and with funeral homilies and honoring your loved ones, that will bring me joy, too. I like to share a meal and visit with people and share stories. Traveling [anywhere] sustains me, particularly when I lead church pilgrimages. Since 2012, I have led a yearly pilgrimage to holy sites here in the United States and abroad. I am bringing a group to the Catholic Shrines of France in October 2024, and I hear that many of you like to travel as well. I still have openings for the France trip. 
Finally, I have a large Christmas village that has been a family tradition since 1991. I plan to construct this display in the church rectory and have it ready for the holidays. As you introduce yourselves, please feel free to share your thoughts, dreams, and suggestions. We will have some listening sessions soon as we chart a course for the future. Until then, let us pray to the Holy Spirit as we journey forward together. 
Fr. Jason 

Rev. Jason Palermo

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