Commenting on the announcement, Fr. Harman said he felt both blessed and humbled to have been asked to serve on the faculty and as rector of the NAC.
“We have been blessed to be able to make many improvements to our facilities and our community life,” he said. “Now I am excited that God’s never-failing providence has called me to return home to the presbyterate and faithful, family and friends in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois."
“I am profoundly grateful for all who have assisted me and supported me in this role during the last six years, and who help make the college such a special place for the life of the Church. I leave very edified and confident that the important work going on here will continue to bear fruit in the years to come,” Harman said.
Harman’s bishop, Thomas Paprocki, said that the diocese had been pleased to share the priest’s gifts in the service of the universal Church, but they “have missed him here in his home diocese and we look forward to his return to resume pastoral ministry among the People of God in Central Illinois.”
The next rector has not yet been announced. The Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy will appoint Harman’s successor in consultation with the NAC’s board of governors, the press release said.
Bishop Robert P. Deeley of Portland, Maine, the chairman of the board of governors, said: “Fr. Harman has provided exceptional leadership as a stable and careful caretaker of the seminary, its seminarians, faculty, and staff.”