Very Reverend William J. Harry, O.Carm., is from Louisville, Kentucky, who joined the Carmelites and professed his first vows on August 7, 1977 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He was ordained to the priesthood as a Carmelite priest July 9, 1983 in Louisville.
His passion for education followed him through his vows and his formal training for priesthood. He received his baccalaureate degree in history from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1976. In 1979, Father Bill received his master’s degree in education administration from the University of Arizona. In 1982 he received an STB (baccalaureate in Sacred Theology) from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy. In 1986 Father Bill was awarded an STL (Licentiate in Sacred Theology) in spirituality from the University of Saint Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, Illinois, and in 1997 a Doctorate in Ministry in communications. He has also studied languages at the University of Vienna in Austria, and at Georgetown University, Washington, DC.
His professional experience started with his first assignment as teacher at Salpointe Catholic High School, Tucson, Arizona, from 1977-1979. He later returned to Salpointe and served there from 1983 to 1985. During those years he taught various subjects including theology, science, psychology and cultural awareness.
In 1986 he moved to Mundelein, Illinois, where he became principal of Carmel High School. After two years he became the school president, a position he held for eight years. During his tenure Father Bill provided the leadership to merge two schools and initiated a Board of Directors. Father Bill’s foresight brought the school’s first successful capital campaign netting $3 million dollars.
In 1998 Father Bill became editor of the Carmelite Review magazine and moved to the pre-novitiate house in Houston, Texas. During this time he also was appointed vocation director of the Province. In 1999, Father Bill was elected by his peers as commissary provincial of the Western Commissariat, a position he held until his election to the General Council of the Order.
As Counselor General, Father Bill was the director of the Office of Communications of the Carmelite Order and the editor of CITOC, a quarterly international news magazine which was printed in three languages. He served in that position for his term as General Councilor.
Father Bill was elected Western Commissary in 2009 and re-elected for a second three-year term in 2011.
His volunteer work includes serving as webmaster, as fire department chaplain and as a member of the Northern Illinois Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Association. Father Bill has been a member of many commissions both within the Province and internationally; from his work on the Provincial Education Commission to his International Communications Commission Chair. He has also been a board member of four Carmelite high schools: Crespi Carmelite High School, Encino, California; Salpointe Catholic High School, Tucson, Arizona; Mount Carmel High School, Chicago, Illinois; and Joliet Catholic Academy, Joliet, Illinois.
With his work Father Bill has traveled extensively both in the United States and to foreign countries, having resided in three foreign countries. He speaks and understands multiple languages.