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Fr. John Palmer


Viatorian Father John M. Palmer, 81, died April 2 at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights.

Born in Nova Scotia, he entered the novitiate in the United States in 1965. He made his first religious profession in 1966 and was ordained a priest in 1971.

He earned a master’s degree in music at Northwestern University, Evanston; a performance diploma for organ at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto; and a licentiate in piano and a fellowship in organ from Trinity College of Music in London. He also studied with Jean Langlais in Paris.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, he was director of music at Christ the King Parish and St. Viator Parish (1971-1972). He also was a music professor at Benedictine University in Lisle for more than 30 years, and did weekend sacramental ministry in the Diocese of Joliet.

In 2022, Father Palmer moved to the Viatorian Province Center in Arlington Heights.

In addition to teaching and doing parish work, Father Palmer gave numerous organ recitals in Europe, Canada and the United States, and served as an examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

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Sr. Leonius Skaar


Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Leonius Skaar, 85, died April 3 in Footville, Wisconsin.

Born in Minneapolis, Sister Leonius made her first profession in 1957 and her perpetual profession in 1960.

She was a teacher, principal, diocesan school administrator, catechetical director and special education director in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Florida.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Leonius taught at St. Cajetan (1958-1963); St. Patrick, Lemont (1963-1966); and Visitation (1966-1969), where she also served as catechetical director.

She is survived by a sister, Karen Kenny.

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Fr. Conrad Borntrager

Parish priest, archivist

Servite Father Conrad M. (William) Borntrager, 88, died April 10.

Born in Chicago, he entered the Servite Order in Hillside and professed solemn vows in 1957. Father Borntrager was ordained a priest in 1960 and served in various educational and parish ministries in the Chicago area, including as associate pastor of his home parish, Our Lady of Sorrows. He later resided at Annunciata Parish for many years while serving as archivist and historian for the Servite Order.