Assignment Record – Rev. Bernard A. Harris, s.j.

Summary of Case: Rev. Bernard A. Harris, known as "Fr. Harry", was a Jesuit of the Oregon Province ordained in 1947. Harris spent his career as an educator - initially at Bellarmine High School in Tacoma, WA, moving in the early 1950s to Loyola High School in Missoula, MT, where he taught until 1971 and, for several years, was principal. Harris also did parish work at St. Francis Xavier's in Missoula. In the 2000s more than 20 people - male and female - have surfaced with claims that Harris sexually abused them as children. There is at least one claim that he molested a child at the Flathead Indian Reservation. Harris was the brother of the late Rev. James Harris, who has also been accused of child sexual abuse. Bernard Harris died Sept. 7, 1972.

: 1947
Died: Sept. 7, 1972


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Seattle bishop was Gerald Shaughnessy, s.m. (1933-1950).

1948 Manresa Hall Port Townsend WA Jesuit Tertianship  


Shaughnessy was succeeded by Thomas Arthur Connolly (1950-1975).

1952 Bellarmine High School Tacoma WA   Bellarmine High had 376-350 students, all male.
1952 1953         Harris is indexed in the 1953 Directory as at Bellarmine High School, but he is not listed as there in the Seattle diocesan pages.


Helena bishop was Joseph Michael Gilmore (1935-1962), followed by Raymond Gerhadt Hunthausen (1962-1975).

1971 Loyola High School


Harris was accused in a 2006 lawsuit of sexually abusing four siblings - three girls and a boy- in the late 1960s through early 1970s. Harris' brother, Rev. James Harris was accused of sexually abusing seven children in this family, and Rev. Maurice Grammond was accused of the sexual abuse of three of the family's boys. James Harris was the family's parish priest who is said to have befriended them in 1968 after their house was destroyed in a fire.

MT Principal 1959-1965

Loyola High had 61-143 students, all male.





James Harris has one other known accusation against him. Grammond has been the subject of accusations of child sexual abuse against scores of children.

    St. Ignatius Mission

Flathead Indian Reservation

Harris was accused in a 2011 lawsuit of sexually abusing at least one Native American child at St. Ignatius Mission.

1950s 1972 St. Francis Xavier's


Two brothers reported in 2009 that Harris sexually abused them when they were altar boys at St. Francis Xavier's in the late 1950s to the mid-1960s.

In a 2011 lawsuit a 49-year-old woman accused Harris of molesting her at St. Francis' school when she was 8 years-old.

A man accused Harris in a 2011 lawsuit of fondling him on several occasions in St. Francis' basement when the man was a 15-year-old boy.

MT 2/4

St. Francis Xavier's had a school with 208 students 1971-1972.

Per news reports, Harris worked at St. Francis Xavier's during these years. The 1972 Directory is the only one that indexes him as there.

Harris died Sept. 7, 1972.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1948-1973)

Lawsuit Claims Three Priests Abused 6 Siblings 30 Years Ago, By Boaz Herzog, The Oregonian, January 12, 2006
6 allege abuse by 3 priests, Siblings from Salem Area Seek $19.5 Million from Catholic Order, By Alan Gustafson, Statesman Journal [Oregon], January 12, 2006
[Portland Claims], [Oregonian, November 12, 2006]

Abuse Suits Name Oregon Nuns, Catholic Sentinel, August 9, 2007
Rev. Maurice R. Grammond—Assignment Record,
15 Victims of Jesuit Priest Abuse Found on State’s Reservations As Search Continues, By Michael Moore, Missoulian, September 3, 2009
Jesuit Victim Search Brings Dozens of Calls, By Michael Moore, Missoulian, September 14, 2009
Victims Come Forward to Reveal Abuse by Missoula Priest Nearly 50 Years Ago, By Michael Moore, Missoulian, September 26, 2009
At Least 100 Montanans File Claims against Jesuits for Abuse, By Michael Moore, Missoulian, January 07, 2010
Northwest Jesuits Agree to Landmark Settlement for Hundreds of Clergy Sexual Abuse Victims, March 25, 2011
Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Filed against Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, KXLH, September 21, 2011
34 Claiming Sexual Abuse by Priests File Suit against Helena Diocese, By Kevin Maki, NBC Montana, September 22, 2011
Lawsuit Filed Alleging Sexual Abuse by Nuns at St. Ignatius Mission, By Gwen Florio, The Missoulian, September 27, 2011
John Does 1-16 et al v Ursuline Sisters, Diocese of Helena, et al, Cause No ADV-2011-936, Montana First Judicial District Court, Lewis & Clark County, Oct. 3, 2011

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Harris' career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on Feb. 20, 2014