Father Ken J. Harder
Though his family had roots in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area, Father Ken was born in Honolulu, Hawaii where his father was a Navy pilot. The family soon moved to the Washington D.C. area.
Father Kenneth J. Harder
Father Ken has two older sisters, Karen and Monica, and two younger brothers, Stephen and David. The family moved from the Bowie, Maryland area to Joplin, Missouri. It was here that Father Ken attended elementary and high school.
He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tulane University and a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University. He then worked for Cummins Engine Company in Columbus, Indiana as a research engineer in their R & D department. It was at this time that he discerned a call to the priesthood.
Having been accepted as a seminarian by the Diocese of Tulsa, Father Ken attended St. Meinrad Seminary, taught by the Benedictine Order. He received an Masters in Catholic Thought and a Masters in Divinity from St. Meinrad.
He was ordained a priest on May 24, 1996 by Bishop Edward Slattery and was assigned as associate pastor at Christ the King Church, Tulsa. Father Ken served there until his appointment on October 1, 1999 as pastor of St. Mark's Catholic Church, Pryor, OK., where he served until his assignment as Pastor of St. John's Catholic University Parish, Stillwater, OK, Saint Francis Xavier Church, Stillwater, OK and St. John the Evangelist, Pawnee, OK, August 2002.
Bishop Edward Slattery laying his hands on Fr. Ken's head.
Father Ken on His Bike
Father Ken's former other assignments include Pastor of Holy Cross Parish, Wagoner; judge on the diocesan Tribunal; member of the diocesan Presbyteral Council; and recently as chaplain for the 138th Fighter Wing of the Oklahoma Air Guard drilling at Tulsa.
As of November, 2005, Father Ken serves as Pastor of St. John's Catholic University Parish, Stillwater, OK, Saint Francis Xavier Church, Stillwater, OK.