Former U.S. Air Force Chaplain’s Assistant Ordained Catholic Priest Father Tyler R. Harris, 2d Lt, USAFR, completes formational journey in California

Left to right: Bishop Daniel Garcia, Father Tyler Harris, and Archbishop Timothy Broglio’s at Father Harris’s ordination in Seaside, CA, on Aug. 22, 2020.

SEASIDE, CA –Father Tyler R. Harris, 2d Lt, USAFR, a prospective United States Air Force chaplain, was ordained a Catholic priest on Saturday, August 22, in Seaside, CA. Father Harris, 40, plans eventually to serve on active duty as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force with endorsement and faculties from the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS) after an initial three years of pastoral service in his home Diocese of Monterey.

Bishop Daniel E. Garcia of Monterey ordained the new priest at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church through the laying of hands and the prayer of consecration invoking the Holy Spirit. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, concelebrated the 11:00 a.m. ordination Mass. Also concelebrating were AMS Chancellor Father Robert R. Cannon, M.A., J.C.L., for whom the new priest served as a chaplain assistant for seven years at Travis Air Force Base, and Msgr. Mark Rowan, a retired chaplain with whom Father Harris served as a Religious Affairs Airman in the Middle East.

Father Harris completed his priestly formation at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo with a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree. He is a 2014 graduate of St. Patrick’s Seminary and University in Menlo Park, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy. Before entering seminary, Father Harris served for eighteen years in the Air Force and the Air Force Reserve.

Archbishop Broglio commented:  “It was deeply moving to participate in the ordination of Father Harris and receive his first blessing.  When I met him eleven years ago, I was impressed with his piety and competency.  He is still enthusiastic:  With the ‘oil still moist on his hands’ he boarded a plane to begin his first reserve assignment as a priest at Dover Air Force Base.”

The eventual service of Father Harris and other Catholic chaplain candidates is greatly anticipated by the Air Force, which, like all other branches of the U.S. Military, continues to suffer a chronic shortage of Catholic chaplains. Currently, only 56 priests are on active duty in the Air Force, serving a Catholic population of more than 80,000 airmen, not counting their families, based worldwide.

Young men interested in discerning a priestly vocation, and the vocation within a vocation to serve those who serve in the U.S. Military, can find more information at www.milarch.org/vocations, or may contact the Vocations Director, Father Aidan Logan, O.C.S.O., by email at vocations@milarch.org.

Donations in support of AMS Vocations are gratefully accepted at www.milarch.org/donate.