Michael Harding, OFM
1890 – 1963
Fr. Michael Harding, OFM, was born Sept. 1, 1890 in London, Ontario, Canada. In 1909, he entered St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, Montreal, as a candidate for the priesthood in the London Diocese. He was ordained in 1913 and served as secretary to the bishop until he entered the Province in 1919. Fr. Michael professed temporary vows one year later.
The new Code of Canon Law had recently been promulgated, and Fr. Michael was sent to The Catholic University of America, Washington, to study canon law from 1920 to 1922. He made his solemn profession in 1923. After receiving his J.C.L. degree, he was assigned to St. Bonaventure’s College, Allegany, N.Y., where he spent 11 years teaching canon law, moral theology and liturgy.
In 1933, Fr. Michael was transferred to Holy Name College, Washington, where he also served as vicar. He spent 19 years there and taught more than 500 HNP priests. In 1952, he moved to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City, where he was a popular confessor, and continued as a spiritual guide and canonical expert for many. Fr. Michael served as the Provincial’s assistant in reorganizing and supervising the Poor Clares in the eastern United States and was present at the official exhumation of the body of Junipero Serra.
He died on April 12, 1963 at St. Anthony Shrine, Boston. Fr. Michael was 72 years old, a professed friar for 42 years and a priest for 49 years.