FREDERICTON, NB – Richard Patrick Harris will be ordained to the transitional diaconate at 6 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 14 at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.
Friday’s ordination is one of the final steps leading to Harris’ ordination to the priesthood, Sept. 11 at 3 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Raised in the Episcopal Church, Harris said he felt drawn to Catholic theology, devotion and worship throughout his faith life. After becoming an Episcopalian priest in 1974, he served as rector at multiple Anglican parishes in Canada – yet felt increasingly felt called to the Catholic Church as the years passed.
“It was with great joy that I and others greeted Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Constitution,
, and the way it opened for us to enter into full communion with the See of Peter,” said Harris, referring to the 2009 papal document that allowed Anglican groups to enter the Catholic Church.
Harris will serve within the Diocese of Saint John, NB as a priest of The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. He was received into the Catholic Church in June 2013 at St. Columba Parish, a Fredericton Junction mission of Sts. John and Paul Parish.
Harris will be assigned to serve the Catholic community of Our Lady of the Sign, a 13-member Ordinariate community that currently shares space with Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church. Harris plans to focus on drawing more people to the Ordinariate community.
“I want to see Our Lady of the Sign become a very viable and vibrant part of the Catholic community in the Fredericton area,” he said. “I want to work on developing a congregation of former Anglicans who want to be in communion with the Catholic Church.”
After his priestly ordination, Harris also plans to assist with teaching apologetics at a local high school, as well as offering chaplaincy to the sick.
“I pray that, with the continued assistance of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints and Angels, I may worthily offer my priesthood to God for His glory,” he said.
Harris and his wife, Margaret, have three children.
The Most Rev. Robert Harris, Bishop of Saint John, will preside at Harris’ ordinations to the transitional diaconate and priesthood. The Rev. Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, will be in attendance at Harris’ ordination to the priesthood in September.
Bishop Robert Harris, Bishop of Saint John, lays hands upon Richard Harris to ordain him Deacon in the Catholic Church for the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, for the Community of Our Lady of the Sign in Fredericton/Fredericton Junction, N.B., Canada on Aug. 14.