Remembering Barbara C. Harris June 12 on what would have been her 90th birthday

Posted Jun 11, 2020

[Diocese of Massachusetts] The following is a message sent by Massachusetts Bishop Alan M. Gates to the diocese on June 11. Barbara C. Harris was the first woman to be ordained and consecrated a bishop in the worldwide Anglican Communion. She passed away on March 13, 2020; memorial services have been put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.  

Dear Friends,

This Friday, June 12, marks the 90th anniversary of the birth of the Rt. Rev. Barbara C. Harris.

It is now three months since Bishop Barbara’s death. Our deep sense of personal and communal loss is compounded by our continuing inability, on account of the coronavirus, to hold public gatherings in thanksgiving for her life and witness. Nevertheless, our prayers of thanksgiving continue, deep and genuine.

Last month Bishop Barbara’s family held a small, private interment in Pennsylvania, commending her remains to their resting place. Our anticipated memorial services at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston will be scheduled when such gatherings once again become possible.

In the meantime, however, in honor of Barbara’s 90th birthday, we offer the video [available here] of our diocesan tribute to Barbara held in November 2018, commemorating the 30th anniversary of her election to the episcopate. Friends, colleagues and admirers gathered to recollect with joy the events of 1989. Barbara received the attention with characteristic humility and delight.

We hope that sharing these remembrances once more will be one way for us in this time to hold her in our hearts and prayers, and commend her with gratitude to Eternal Life.
In Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates