I remain ever grateful,’ says Hiltz

Published May 29, 2012

Caption: (L to R) Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Sue Winn and Archdeacon Sidney Black Photo: Marites N. Sison

Mississauga, Ont.—Reflecting on his fifth year as primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz said he is happy with “measurable progress.”

Partnerships with churches in Canada and overseas, the adoption by dioceses of the Five Marks of Mission, and healing and reconciliation with indigenous peoples are all part of that. “I remain ever grateful for the kind of church that God is calling us to be,” he said.

Speaking here to members attending the spring meeting of the Council of General Synod (CoGS) May 24 to May 27, Hiltz acknowledged that it is “both a challenging and exciting time.”

The primate has been traveling extensively at home and abroad since taking up his ministry. This has, he said, has taught him “to value the place of retreat in my life.” Most recently, he visited an Anglican monastic community–The Society of Saint John the Evangelist–in Cambridge, Mass. “You’re there to reconnect with God, to renew your soul and your own self and to put aside all that you’ve carried with you,” said Hiltz.

The primate reflected on his visits to 28 of the church’s 30 dioceses. “There is no greater joy than to visit the dioceses,” he said.

Hiltz noted the renewed focus of mission in dioceses across Canada, where the communion’s Five Marks of Mission have become a household language in many churches.

Time spent with the Anglican Ordinariate for the Canadian Forces has impressed upon him how much this ministry has to teach the church “about diversity, tolerance and building relations across cultural, theological and ethnic distances,” he said.

Hiltz also reflected on the church’s commitment to the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and said it is something to be proud of. “Our church is coming to terms with the sad legacy (of the residential schools)” and is committed to the process for the long haul, he emphasized.

The primate said he is looking forward to attending the Sacred Circle at Pinawa, Manitoba, in August, noting that the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP) has always made him feel at home at their gatherings.

He urged everyone to pray for the next Archbishop of Canterbury, who will be chosen before the end of the year. The Canadian House of Bishops sent a letter to retiring Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, thanking him for his ministry and for working hard to keep the Communion together.

Hiltz said the national consultation he is convening in January 2013 (in response to priorities set out in the church’s strategic plan, Vision 2019) will focus on issues around church restructuring. Discussions about this are ongoing across dioceses and provinces, he noted.


  • Marites N. Sison

    Marites (Tess) Sison was editor of the Anglican Journal from August 2014 to July 2018, and senior staff writer from December 2003 to July 2014. An award-winning journalist, she has more that three decades of professional journalism experience in Canada and overseas. She has contributed to The Toronto Star and CBC Radio, and worked as a stringer for The New York Times.

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