The Reverend Catharine Harris served our congregation from 1993 until she retired in 2006. Among Catharine’s many firsts: our Fellowship’s first Minister Emerita; first full-time Minister of our Fellowship; first minister of the UU Church of Cheyenne, where she was ordained in 1986; and first UU minister to serve a congregation in Wyoming. During her ministry at the Fellowship, the congregation purchased their first building and moved from a rented facility in Boulder to the present location in Lafayette.
Catharine’s ministry was born out of her belief that being alive and being of service are our most precious gifts. Ministry enables her to use her abilities to serve others — a love of people and their unique journeys, a love of religion and spiritual exploration, a passion for history and politics, and a love of learning, beauty, being in community and being challenged to expand and contribute to the richness of life around her.
Catharine entered the Starr King School for the Ministry in 1982 at age 40 and earned her Masters of Divinity in 1985. Starr King, a UU seminary, is a member of the Graduate Theological Union which is affiliated with the University of California at Berkeley. She completed advanced clinical pastoral education with Boulder County Hospice and a ministerial internship at Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, Colorado. Her continuing education included courses in medical ethics, existential philosophy, Buddist philosophy and practice and workshops on spiritual direction, poetry and just economic community.
Before seminary, Catharine earned an M.A. in American History at the University of Illinois. She worked as an Administrative Assistant for the Adler Zone Center, an innovative out-patient mental health facility in Urbana, Illinois. She also held a position as a caseworker for Aid to Families with Dependent Children in Hartford, CT, where she visited and helped support families on welfare and learned about the problems of low income and inner-city life. Subsequently, Catharine served as a Coordinator of Volunteers at the UU Church of Boulder where she coordinated all staffing, community and administrative volunteers. For a brief time, she served as the Neighborhood Coordinator for Eco Cycle in Boulder, creating a network of neighborhood leaders in recycling.
Catharine enjoys world travel. This interest began when she was an exchange student in New Zealand at age 16. She has lived in Switzerland and studied at the Carl Jung Institute. She has trekked in Nepal and Thailand. She has also traveled extensively in South Africa, Tanzania, Bali, Bosnia and Europe. More recently, Catharine joined a group of UUs researching their religious roots in Transylvania, home of the world’s first Unitarian churches. Travel enables her to feel truly connected to the peoples of the world and better understand how the forces of religion, government, and physical environment help shape their lives.
Rev. Harris loves to read, especially on topics related to US political issues and world politics. She also enjoys walking every day in open space near her home in Boulder, where she can pursue her love of bird watching. Her husband is Dick Harris; they have one daughter, Julia.