Student, St. Marys College, North East, Pennsylvania, 1928-1933; student, St. Mary's College, Annapolis, 1933-1934; student, Mount St. Alphonsus Major Seminary, 1934-1940.
He was the first Bishop of Saint Thomas in the Virgin Islands (1977-1985). He served for many years in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the Virgin Islands. On July 23, 1960, Harper was appointed the first Prelate of the newly erected Prelature of Virgin Islands and Titular Bishop of Heraclea Pontica by Pope John XXIII. He received his episcopal consecration on the following October 6 from Bishop Bryan Joseph McEntegart, with Bishops William Tibertus McCarty and James Edward McManus serving as co-consecrators, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Brooklyn.
Upon the elevation of his prelature to the Diocese of Saint Thomas, Harper was named its first Bishop on April 20, 1977.
After twenty-five years in the Virgin Islands, he retired on October 16, 1985. He died in 1990, aged 80, as Bishop Emeritus of Saint Thomas.
President Citizens for Drug Education, Inc., 1968-1990, Catholic Community Conscious Corporation. Board directors Virgin Islands Council on Alcoholism. member of the board Economics Development Council Virgin Islands Knights of Columbus (charter) M C.