Photo credit: Janet Best
The Right Reverend Mary Irwin-Gibson
Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson, had been dean and rector of St. George’s Cathedral in Kingston since 2009 but is a committed, bilingual Montrealer with family connections and 28 years' service in the diocese.
Bishop Irwin-Gibson, who moved to the Montreal area as a young girl and grew up in the area, was ordained as a deacon and priest in 1981 and 1982. She served for three years as an assistant curate in the Parish of Vaudreuil, then for seven years as rector of the Parish of Dunham-Frelighsburg in Quebec until 1991.
She spent 18 years as rector of Holy Trinity Church in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, in the Laurentians, earning an MBA in French along the way from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). In 2009, she became the rector at St. George’s Cathedral.
When nominations were open for the next Anglican bishop of Montreal, “I felt the Holy Spirit asking me to let my name stand,” she told Matt Gardner of the Anglican Church of Canada news service.
“I was willing to go if I was elected and willing to stay (in Kingston) if I wasn’t elected, because something I’ve learned from the military (in Kingston) about deployment is that when the boss calls you to go, you go, and if the boss says stay, you stay. And the Holy Spirit’s the boss.” The bishop’s husband, Mark Gibson, has a diverse business and consulting career, particularly in renewable energy and technical sales. He was executive officer of the Diocese of Montreal for about 10 months in 2006. They have two adult daughters.
The Bishop’s Award was instituted in 1989 by Bishop Reginald Hollis as a way to recognize the Christian witness of lay people who have made an outstanding contribution over several years to the life and work of their Parish and the Diocese at large.