Father Peter Harman, rector of the North American College seminary in Rome, in a 2017 photo. / Lucia Ballester/CNA
Rome, Italy, Jan 12, 2022 / 13:00 pm (CNA).
Father Peter Harman has agreed to delay his departure as rector of the Pontifical North American College, the seminary’s board of governors said on Wednesday.
The seminary for U.S. students in Rome announced in October that Harman would complete his six-year term on Jan. 31.
But the board of governors said on Jan. 12 that Harman, a priest of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, would now stay until June 30.
Bishop Robert P. Deeley of Portland, Maine, the chairman of the board of governors, said: “We are grateful that Fr. Harman has agreed to extend his term through June.”
“He has provided exceptional leadership through these difficult years of the pandemic, and the entire board is thankful that he was willing to continue on in this role while the appointment of the next rector is finalized.”
The Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy is expected to name Harman’s successor in the coming months, in consultation with the board of governors.
Harman was appointed rector for a five-year term that started in February 2016. In July 2020, he was asked to stay on as rector for an additional year to maintain consistent leadership through the coronavirus pandemic.
Pope Francis’ with Fr. Peter Harman, rector of the Pontifical North American College, in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Sept. 29, 2021. Pablo Esparza/CNA.
He is the 23rd rector since the college was established in 1859. Past rectors include American Church figures such as Archbishop Martin John O’Connor, Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
More than 200 seminarians and graduate priests from the United States and Australia are currently studying at the college.