Rev. Richard R. Harr, OMI
Missionary to Japan for 51 years,
Oblate Priest for 61 years
LOWELL -- Rev. Richard R. Harr, OMI, 87, died on May 13, 2013, at Saints Memorial Medical Center, Lowell, MA, after a lengthy illness.
He was born in McCook, NE, on January 29, 1926, a son of the late Raymond and Argyle (Rector) Harr. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by two brothers, James Harr and Donald Harr.
Fr. Harr entered the novitiate of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Tewksbury, MA, in 1945, and professed his first vows there on September 8, 1946. His final vows were professed on September 8, 1949, in Essex, NY. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 2, 1952, in Washington, DC, by Bishop Arsene Turquetil, OMI.
His first assignment was to the missions in Japan. He arrived on October 13, 1952, at Star of the Sea Parish, Aki Parish, Island of Shikoku, where he completed language studies. From 1953 to 2003, he was pastor at several parishes: Immaculate Heart of Mary (Fukuoka Parish, Island of Kyushu); Our Lady of Peace Parish (Koga Parish, Island of Kyusu); St. Paul Miki Parish (Tokushima Parish, Island of Shikoku); Christ the King Parish (Itami Parish, Island of Honshu); Our Lady of Hope Parish (Anan Parish, Island of Shikoku); and Star of the Sea Parish (Aki Parish, Island of Shikoku). In addition, he was kindergarten principal at Our Lady of Peace, Christ the King, Our Lady of Hope and Star of the Sea parishes. He served as Superior of Tokushima District while at Our Lady of Hope Parish.
In 2003, Fr. Harr joined the community of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Residence in Tewksbury, where he remained until his recent hospitalization. As a member of that community, Fr. Harr was always ready to be of service. He took joy in assisting the staff with tasks such as distributing mail to his brother Oblates within the community.
Besides his Oblate family, Fr. Harr is survived by a brother, Gerald Harr, and his wife, Sonja, of Carmel, IN, and a sister-in-law, Margaret Mary Harr, of McCook, NE; as well as many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
HARR -- Services and calling hours will be in the Chapel at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Residence, 486 Chandler Street, Tewksbury. Calling hours will be on Monday, May 20, 2013, from 2:00-4:00 pm and 7:00-9:00 pm, with a Prayer Service at 7:30 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Tuesday, May 21, 2013. Cremation will follow the services in Tewksbury, and, in accordance with Fr. Harr's wishes, his remains will be returned to Japan and the people he served. Interment will be at a later date at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Fukuoka where he spent a total of 17 years. Donations in memory of Fr. Harr for the Oblate missions in Japan may be made c/o the Oblate Missions Fund, 486 Chandler Street, Tewksbury, MA 01876-2849. The McKenna-Ouellette Funeral Home, 327 Hildreth Street, Lowell, MA, is in charge of arrangements. For condolences or directions, please visit www.mckennaouellette.com