Father Parrinello had multiple gifts as a counselor
January 13, 2023
Father Frank Parrinello had the right parents, personality, education and training to make him a one-of-a-kind counselor and priest.
His parents – Joseph Parrinello and his late wife, Carole, of Sioux City, Iowa – were both mental health providers.
Their son had “a perfect kind of personality for a counselor,” empathetic and with good listening skills, said his longtime friend, Father Damien Cook, pastor of St. Philip Neri-Blessed Sacrament Parish in Omaha.
Father Parrinello earned degrees in psychology and social work, as well as divinity and theology. He spoke multiple languages and was trained in spiritual deliverance ministry. He helped heal individuals, couples and families, as well as trauma victims, including law enforcement officers.
Those who know Father Parrinello are now mourning his death. The archdiocesan priest died of a heart attack Jan. 7 in Sioux City. He was 55.
A funeral Mass was planned for 12:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at St. Michael Church in South Sioux City. Father Cook will deliver the homily. Burial was to follow at Calvary Cemetery in Sioux City, Iowa.
Father Parrinello’s “approach to therapy as a man of faith and member of the clergy” integrated “psychological, theological and philosophical perspectives that his unique educational and service path provided,” his family said in a written tribute.
The priest grew up in Sioux City and earned a bachelor’s degree in social work and psychology from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City in 1989.
As a young man, though, he felt a deeper calling into his faith and toward the priesthood, Father Cook said. The two became friends as archdiocese seminarians studying at Mount St. Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
Father Parrinello was ordained in 2000 and was associate pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Norfolk from 2000 to 2003 and pastor of St. Leonard Parish in Madison from 2003 to 2005.
Then he felt called to enter the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, Father Cook said.
With permission from the archdiocese, Father Parrinello served with the fraternity in Rapid City, South Dakota; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
In 2015 he completed a master’s degree in social work from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. He had a mental health practice with Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma.
A few years ago, Father Parrinello returned to the Archdiocese of Omaha to be closer to his parents and work for the Lord through mental health care, said his sister, Gina Rosenbaum of North Sioux City, South Dakota.
He established Our Lady of Good Counsel Apostolate for Psychotherapy and Counseling, with an office in downtown Omaha. He served as a volunteer chaplain for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and consultant to the archdiocese’s Metropolitan Tribunal, a Church court.
He also was a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre, an order that serves the Church and dates back to the Crusades.
Father Parrinello was a “very, very intelligent priest” with a natural gift for languages, learning French, Spanish, German, Latin and Greek, Father Cook said.
“When he was interested in something, he invested himself fully,” said Tasha Rosenbaum, his niece.
Though he seemed quiet and introverted, Father Parrinello loved adventure: enjoying roller coasters and water parks, hiking, camping, new technology, new cuisines and new experiences, according to Father Cook.
“He was a great guy and a great priest.”
Father Parrinello was preceded in death by his mother, who died in October. Survivors include his father; his sister and her husband, Paul Rosenbaum; four nieces and two great-nieces.
“He lived a life of servitude to others and will be greatly missed by all who were fortunate to have met him professionally or personally,” his family wrote.