February 28, 2016 - New Rector Installed at Pontifical North American College


Rome, Italy (February 29, 2016) – The 23rd Rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome was formally installed on Sunday, February 28, 2016. The Very Reverend Peter Harman, an alumnus and priest of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois made his Oath of Fidelity and Profession of Faith during Holy Mass. A host of special guests were present including Archbishop Jorge Carlos Patron Wong, Secretary for Seminaries at the Congregation for Clergy, and The Honorable Ken Hackett, the US Ambassador to the Holy See.

Archbishop of Newark and College Board of Governors Chairman, Archbishop John Myers ’67 was the main celebrant and homilist, joined by several Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, and priest faculty of the College. During his homily, Archbishop Myers spoke of the need for each member of the Body of Christ to renew conformity to the willingness of God, adding, “we are grateful to Fr. Peter Harman and the other formators and faculty of the Pontifical North American College for having assumed the responsibility of leading this great community.”

At a festive celebratory banquet following Mass, Fr. Harman reflected on his new role as Rector. “It is with real humility that I stand here today,” he said. He encouraged the students to always seek the will of God. “Although I never imagined becoming Rector, I know accepting this role is how God can use my service for His good.”

Fr. Harman is a native of Quincy Illinois, and attended St. Meinrad College Seminary before beginning study at the North American College in 1995. Ordained a priest on July 17, 1999, Fr. Harman returned to Rome to complete the License in Sacred Theology. His early pastoral assignments included a five year tenure as rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield, IL. Fr. Harman earned the Doctorate in Sacred Theology at the Catholic University of America. He later returned to Rome where he most recently served as the Director of Pastoral Formation at the North American College and also as an adjunct instructor in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

The Pontifical North American College serves as the American seminary for diocesan clergy in Rome. Founded in 1859 by Blessed Pius IX, the college has formed over 5,000 priests near the heart of the Church for service in dioceses around the United States. The College strengthens the bonds between Rome and local Churches worldwide, and it allows its students to study the Church’s rich religious and cultural heritage at close range. It currently forms over 250 men for the priesthood and houses an additional 70 priests pursuing graduate studies in Rome.