“Thank you, dear friends, for your warm applause for Father Harris on this day of his installation as your pastor, here at Holy Family Parish. We do this on the occasion of the 140th anniversary of this parish, a history which actually stretches back even further to the 1850’s. Suffice it to say that, through the years Holy Family was served by many extraordinary and dedicated priests, beginning with the Jesuit fathers who long ago laid the foundations for this parish. In its early days Holy Family was a mission of various surrounding parishes and priests would travel long distances by horseback to offer Mass here. But as the community grew, it became a parish in its own right as successive pastors led the community in building up the parish. So, Father Harris follows a long line of distinguished priests yet he also brings gifts which, in my judgment and yours, are so necessary for Holy Family Parish at this juncture in its history.
“At the risk of embarrassing Father Harris, I’d like to mention some of those gifts – First and foremost, he has brought a renewed sense of joy to Holy Family. The first indicator is his hearty and infectious laugh but his joy in the Gospel runs much deeper and has permeated his priestly service. That joy is not manufactured but flows from his relationship with the Lord and his desire to share the Good News with everyone he meets. Second, he brings a wealth of experience. He has served on various parishes with great effectiveness, has served as campus minister at Mt. St. Mary’s University, and continues to serve generously on the Marriage Tribunal of the Archdiocese. Father Harris, as you know, is a wise and loving guide in all that lies ahead. Third, Father Harris brings a spirit of hope. Together with parish leadership, he sees Holy Family as poised for growth. Under his leadership, Holy Family is becoming a hub of missionary activity and many are finding their way to this parish family. So we thank you, Father Harris, for accepting my invitation to serve as Pastor.”
Read the complete homily HERE.