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.
What is the Bishop up to?
Her calendar is here.
The bishop's sermons are presented here (in audio format)
Contact Bishop Mary
Maria Abate (Episcopal Secretary)
Bishop's Message for Montreal Anglican June 2018
I am travelling to some interesting places since becoming bishop. This summer I will visit our partner Diocese of Masasi in Tanzania. When we met in Montreal in October 2015, Bishop James Almasi invited me to the visit him and his wife as soon as possible. With the support of the Partnerships Committee, I am finally going at the end of July!
There’s so much to do in preparation: learning about the customs and culture, getting immunizations, figuring out what to pack, what gifts to bring and so on. As he has done for all those who have visited from Montreal, Bishop James is lining up a full schedule! We will be there for two Sundays and there will be lots of celebrations and visits to parishes throughout our time. I may even be the first woman bishop to visit them! I do know that the Bishop has women preparing for ordination and that the education of girls is a big priority for him. I’ll have so much to write about when I return!
I hope that you will join me in prayer on this journey and perhaps send along a prayer for me to take along. This will be a sacred opportunity to meet together and to grow in love for one another and for the Lord. It feels like a pilgrimage for me as I plan to visit the Church in a completely different part of the world and meet Jesus in the faces of the people who welcome us. One of the people from our Diocese who went to Masasi, seminarian Tyson Røsberg, said “I met Jesus there”. There are lots of pilgrimages one can make – on quests or to holy sites. Tyson is just back from leading a youth group on a portion of the Camino de Santiago in Spain and he adds, “as I’ve learnt from the Camino... every step, every breath, every moment is a pilgrimage with the divine”.
That’s something that I have also learned in my life – that we can meet God intentionally and sometimes in surprising ways. My first visit to the Holy Land became a pilgrimage although it began as a tour! In this photo, the city of Jerusalem appears behind me. I am so excited to be planning to lead a pilgrimage to the Land of the Holy One in February 2019 and to the Bishop and Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East.
In 2020, the bishops of the Anglican Communion will meet in Canterbury for the Lambeth Conference. By now, I have met quite a few bishops from across the Anglican Communion, and Lambeth will be a chance to renew our friendships and to make new ones. These relationships are part of what keeps us together; each of us leading our dioceses in the pilgrimage of faith and service of Christ Jesus.
Where is God taking you on your pilgrimage? (It may just be next door to visit your neighbour…) Happy summer!