Rev. Bernard Harding, 76, pastor, led Trinitarians

September 15, 1997

The Rev. Bernard Harding, O.SS.T., former pastor of St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Church in Jessup who led the Trinitarian order of priests in the United States from 1971 to 1974, died Saturday of complications after surgery at Northwest Hospital Center in Randallstown. He was 76.

A member of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity for 57 years, Father Harding was pastor of St. Lawrence from 1978 to 1990, when he retired for health reasons.

After serving as minister provincial in Baltimore, the order's highest office, he was vicar provincial -- the second highest office -- from 1974 to 1977.

In 1977 to 1978, also in Baltimore, Father Harding trained men seeking to join the Trinitarians. The District of Columbia native joined the Trinitarians when he was 19 and was educated at the old Holy Name College in the district and Catholic University of America. After completing his studies at Catholic University in 1947, he was ordained and named an associate pastor of St. Ann Roman Catholic Church in Bristol, Pa.

Other posts included St. John De Matha Monastery in Hyattsville, where he trained young men seeking to enter the Trinitarians from 1950 until 1956, and St. James Roman Catholic Church in Trenton, N.J., where he was associate pastor until 1962.

While at St. Lawrence, Father Harding continued a longtime ministry to inmates at the state prisons in Jessup.

He first became involved with prisoners in 1962 as Catholic chaplain at a maximum-security federal prison in Marion, Ill., a post he held until 1971.

Father Harding celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination as a priest in June. A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10: 30 a.m. Wednesday at Holy Trinity Monastery, 8400 Park Heights Ave.

He is survived by two brothers, Halite Harding of Gettysburg, Pa., and Joseph Harding of Olney.

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Pub Date: 9/15/97

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