Bishop Barbara Harris transferred to hospice facility

By ENS staff
Posted Mar 13, 2020

Bishop Barbara C. Harris, the first female bishop in the Anglican Communion, has been transferred to a hospice facility after being hospitalized at the end of February.

The House of Bishops honored retired Massachusetts Bishop Suffragan Barbara Harris on the evening of March 12, 2019, a month and a day after the 30th anniversary of her ordination and consecration as the first woman bishop in the Christian church. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

“She is comfortable and receiving excellent care there and has friends in regular rotation at her side,” Massachusetts Bishop Alan Gates said March 11 in an online update of Harris’ condition. “I thank you for your prayers which continue to uphold her, her loved ones and her caregivers.”

Harris, 89, was hospitalized Feb. 29 with serious gastrointestinal symptoms, and she underwent a “corrective surgical procedure” on March 1, according to the diocese.

Harris, a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was consecrated bishop suffragan of the Diocese of Massachusetts in 1989 and served in that role until retiring in 2002. While remaining active in the church, she regularly has been the focus of tributes, including the dedication in November 2019 of the Bishop Barbara C. Harris Justice Project of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing in the Diocese of Atlanta, Georgia.