AMESBURY — The Rev. Louis Palmieri became pastor of Salisbury’s Star of the Sea Church after the retirement of an icon and earned the admiration of a congregation still reeling from the loss, while simultaneously leading Amesbury’s Holy Family Parish through its own challenges.
But after less than four years as the pastor of two strong parishes, “Father Lou” will leave in June, reassigned by the Archdiocese of Boston to take over at a larger collaborative parish of three churches in Quincy. His recent announcement of his departure during Sunday Mass was difficult.
“When he made the announcement, he got a little emotional,” said Holy Parish business manager Paula Blair. “And the congregation was emotional as well.”
“At Star of the Sea, people are sad that he’s leaving, because they like him very much,” Parish Council member Donald Beaulieu said. “He had the herculean task of following Father Morgan, who was here for 35 years and who was beloved by everyone. But Father Lou did it well. He’s very approachable, welcoming, very thoughtful and he can laugh at himself.”
Palmieri isn’t the only priest leaving. The Rev. Michael J. Farrell, the parochial vicar at Holy Family Parish and Star of the Sea, is also moving on in June, when a new pastor, the Rev. Scott Euvard, will arrive to take over at the new, official, collaborative parish made up of Holy Family and Star of the Sea churches.
“Father Michael came here three years ago,” Palmieri said. “And his assignment was for three years. I had been assigned here for six years because I had certain skills the Archdiocese felt were needed here. The Archdiocese now feels I’ve accomplished all I had to do here and that I’m needed elsewhere.”
A deeply spiritual person since he was a boy, Palmieri, 50, grew up in East Boston and graduated from Boston College and St. John’s Seminary. He was ordained a priest in 1993.