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Monday, October 24, 2016
Tributes: Bishop Augustine Harris
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 The Right Reverend Augustine Harris, Bishop Emeritus of Middlesbrough and Former Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool, died peacefully yesterday evening at Ince Blundell Hall at the age of 89. He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Liverpool on 30 May 1942 and in 1966 became Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese. The following year he consecrated the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. In 1978 he was appointed as Bishop of Middlesbrough where he served until his retirement in 1992. In retirement he lived in Formby and latterly at Ince Blundell Hall. He was very active in retirement, a familiar figure and a good friend to many. The Most Reverend Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool said: "A friend has died. I know of no other way to begin to speak of Bishop Augustine Harris. A friend to prisoners, a friend to priests, a friend to his brother Bishops, a friend to fellow pilgrims to Lourdes: a good friend. And this can only have one explanation: the Lord said to him 'I do not call you servant, I call your friend,' and Gus, for so I must name him at least once, could say to and of the Lord: I do not only call him Lord, I call him friend. May he rest in peace." Michael Morrissey writes: Bishop Augustine Harris, who died on Thursday, August 30, at Ince Blundell Hall, near Liverpool, aged 89, was well loved in the Middlesbrough diocese, where he served from 1978-92. He had a fierce social conscience, especially about the very high levels of unemployment in the UK, particularly Teesside. He tried to launch initiatives to help young jobless people with whom he had an empathy. He was a warm-hearted priest whose main concrete achievement was to build St Mary's Cathedral, Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough. in 1986. Bishop Harris, who was active as a bishop in his native Merseyside during his retirement years, hit the national spotlight in 1982 when he welcomed Pope John Paul to York during his visit to the UK. He is particularly remembered in Middlesbrough for his visit in 2002 when he celebrated the diamond jubilee of his ordination as a priest. The cathedral was packed. And the bishop known as 'Gus' to friends, particularly enjoyed meeting some fellow octogenarians after the Mass. He was keen on communication though he was not a man for pithy 'sound-bites,' which today's media wants. He started the diocesan newspaper Catholic Voice, which is still going strong. He also helped efforts by Catholic newsmen in Middlesbrough to form a branch of the Guild of St Francis of Sales, for Catholic journalists. Bishop Harris championed prisoners. He had been chaplain to them in Liverpool, where he had been an assistant bishop. He was also one of the pioneers of Teesside hospice, serving on a small committee which started the Macmillan Nurses in the area. His motto was: 'Serve the Lord with gladness' and he was true to these words of scripture
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