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Priest’s ordination makes history in Fort Macleod

Bishop Derek Hoskin presents Rev. Pilar Gateman on Sunday to the congregation of Christ Church Anglican in Fort Macleod.

Bishop Derek Hoskin presents Rev. Pilar Gateman on Sunday to the congregation of Christ Church Anglican in Fort Macleod.

Rev. Pilar Gateman took her place Sunday in the history of Christ Church Anglican in Fort Macleod.
Rev. Gateman became the first Anglican priest ordained in Fort Macleod since the Anglican Church was established here in 1874.
“It’s phenomenally humbling,” Rev. Gateman said. “It is complete and utter joy to be able to share it with the people of this church. I love them so much.”
The church and hall were filled to overflowing as parishioners, family members, friends and visiting clergy joined in the historic ceremony.
The ordination ceremony was conducted by Bishop Derek Hoskin, who has close ties to Fort Macleod.
“It’s special for me because I was the rector here for 12 years,” said Bishop Hoskin, who served in Fort Macleod from 1975-’87.
The ordination would normally take place at the cathedral in Calgary and it is because of the ties Bishop Hoskin and Rev. Gateman have to Fort Macleod that the ceremony was held here.
“We created the opportunity,” Bishop Hoskin said.
Pilar Gateman was a teacher for 14 years in Lethbridge School Division before deciding on a career in the ministry.
Rev. Gateman earned her masters of divinity in December 2009 at the University of Toronto’s Wycliffe College and was ordained as a deacon last May at the cathedral in Calgary.
“My practice has been to have at least one of the ordination services in the cathedral,” Bishop Hoskin said.
That the bishop of the archdiocese of Calgary was willing to hold Sunday’s ordination service in Fort Macleod was welcome news to Rev. Gateman.
“I was thrilled about that,” Rev. Gateman said. “I think there is nothing more lovely than sharing it with the parish.”
Bishop Hoskin stressed to the people gathered in the church the importance of the service.
“You are here in a very historic place, on a very historic day,” Bishop Hoskin said.
The Rev. Dr. Glen Taylor, a professor at Wycliffe College, travelled to Fort Macleod to give the sermon.
Noting the number of clergymen present, Rev. Dr. Taylor delighted the audience with an unexpected comparison.
“Clergy are an awful lot like manure,” Rev. Dr. Taylor said with a laugh. “If you get us together we can cause a stink. If you spread us out, we can do some good.”
Rev. Dr. Taylor said Rev. Gateman is entering the ministry at a difficult time, when scandals and other hard issues are challenging the church.
That chance “to do some good” makes Rev. Gateman’s choice a good one, however.
“It is actually a glorious calling,” Rev. Dr. Taylor said.
Key to the calling is the chance to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“The message of the gospel is good news, and it’s yours to share,” Rev. Dr. Taylor told Rev. Gateman.

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