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Msgr. Harris Memory Project

Monsignor Harris was the much-loved pastor of St. John Francis Regis Parish from 1970 until his retirement in 2004. He passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 6, 2016.

Msgr. Harris was born on October 18, 1923 in Little Falls, New York. He attended Siena College in Albany before beginning studies at Christ the King Seminary at St. Bonaventure's University in Olean, New York. He was ordained a priest on June 4, 1955 at St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, DC.

His first assignment as Parochial Vicar was at Holy Redeemer Parish in College Park, Maryland, and in 1963 he was assigned as Parochial Vicar to Saint Anthony Parish, Washington, DC before becoming Pastor at St. John's.

Msgr. Harris was named a Monsignor by Pope St. John Paul II in 1991.

Well-known for his support of Catholic education, he is remembered by former St. John's School students for the chocolate bars that he used to distribute at the school.


He was also known to put his many practical skills to use for the benefit of the parish whenever something needed to be done. The interior of St. John's bears many marks of his influence, from the oak pews to the blue carpet in the nave.

During the weeks prior to Msgr. Harris's death and in the days that followed, St. John's Parish community surrounded his family members with love and support. Their greatest wish was to have him come home to California with them, but Our Lord had other plans for him. In conversations with the family, they expressed such thankfulness for all that Msgr. Harris's Maryland parish family had given him over the years. They desired to know him as St. John’s knew him. The many stories they heard about him while in Maryland led them to ask if it would be possible to compile these stories in some way so they could get to know him as we did.

To accomplish their wish, we have developed a “Memory Project” form with instructions to help you document your personal memories of Msgr. Harris to be published in a book that will be presented as a gift to his family. You can fill out the form online or on paper, or let us interview you and do the paperwork for you. Blank forms are also available at both entrances of the church. Please take time to help us make his family's wish a reality!

Notice: By submitting a story, photo, or any other content, you agree that the parish may choose to edit it (for content, length, style, etc.) and to publish it, without any payment due to you, both on the parish’s website and in a book to be distributed to Msgr. Harris’s surviving relatives.

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