Fr. Bernard Palka, SA

About Fr. Bernard Palka, SA


Father Bernard Palka, S.A. was born in Hempstead, NY, in 1944, and raised in Hicksville, NY. He took final vows as a Franciscan Friar of the Atonement in 1968 and was ordained at Graymoor in 1972.

He earned his B.A. from Pius X College in Washington, DC. He graduated with an M.A. in Psychology from Catholic University of America as well as with an M.A. in Theology from St. Paul College, both in Washington, DC. He worked in the Ecumenical Office of South Bend, Indiana. From 1972-1977, Father Palka was assigned to the drug rehabilitation program at New Hope Manor, Graymoor. A Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC), Father Palka served as Program Director at the friars’ St. Joseph Rehabilitation Center in Saranac Lake for over a decade. In 1992, Father Palka was named executive director of Hawthorne House in White Plains, NY, a halfway house offering care to persons in the early stages of recovery from alcoholism. He served as Executive Director of St. Christopher’s Inn from 1993 to 2011.

Father Palka has been Chaplain for the Connecticut Department of Corrections serving four facilities since 2012. In addition to various pastoral assignments in the United States, he was Treasurer General for the Friars from 1995-2001. He was elected 2nd Councilor in 2014 by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and served in that role until 2019.  Currently he is the Guardian of St. Paul Friary, Graymoor.