John J. Harris, O.S.A.

1884 – 1937 (June 8)

John Joseph Harris was born in Yonkers, New York, on July 8, 1884, the son of Samuel Harris and Helen Manning. Before entrance into the novitiate at Villanova, Pennsylvania, on June 22, 1911, he worked as a plumber’s assistant in the New York area. He was simply professed on June 22, 1912, and made solemn profession on June 25, 1915. He was ordained to the priesthood in the church of the Passionists in West Hoboken, New Jersey, by Bishop O’Connor of Newark, on May 16, 1918.

Immediately after ordination, Father Harris served as an assistant in the Villanova summer school. He was then assigned to Saint Augustine’s in Troy, NY. From 1919 to 1935, he was stationed at Saint Rita’s High School in Chicago, Illinois, where he served at various times as prior, president, and procurator. At the Provincial Chapter of 1935, he was appointed prior of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine in the Bronx, NY.

Father Harris was 53 when he died on June 8, 1937 while attending a school outing at Indian Point, NY. He is buried in the Community Cemetery at Villanova.

Father Harris devoted a great deal of his time and efforts to the youth of Saint Nicholas’ parish and of the surrounding areas. In recognition of his work with young people, the city of the Bronx named a playground park in his honor.