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Who's Who at St. John's

Alvin R. Westgate ~ Priest in Charge

Father Michael MitchellAlvin retired to Lunenburg/Crousetown in September 2010 after 35 years of service in the Diocese of Fredericton. Born in southwestern Ontario, the eldest of four children, he spent his early years on the family farm. After high school, he attended University of Windsor and obtained a BA in Anthropology. Sponsored by the Bishop of Fredericton, he attended the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax ( lived at King’s College) where he received an MDiv. Ordained Deacon in May 1975 and Priest in October 1976. All of his family have been very active Church members and his youngest brother serves as Incumbant Priest in the Cree community of Mistissini, Quebec.

Those 35 years in the Diocese of Fredericton were spent in a variety of parishes representing rural farming, lumbering, fishing communities, as well as, suburban and urban settings. Parish ministry began as Curate in the Parish of Hammond River and Parish of Rothesay. This was a suburban area with 4 Churches. In 1978 he moved to the Parish of Cambridge and Waterborough, a farming area in central New Brunswick with 5 Churches. The Parish covered 500 square miles! He remained there until late 1988, when he moved to the Parish of New Bandon, a fishing community on the Acadian Peninsula with 3 Churches. The area was an enclave of Irish from County Cork. He got his sea legs there while helping neighbours/parishoners with lobster and herring fishing.

In 1994 he moved to the Miramichi and the Parish of Ludlow and Blissfield. While there he became Regional Dean and was named a Canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Fredericton. It was a 4 point Parish with lumbering as one of the main industries. The move to Saint John, to the Parish of Millidgeville took place in 2000. This was a very active Anglo Catholic Parish that had 3 large nursing homes with weekly services, the University of New Brunswick(Saint John campus) and the Saint John Regional Hospital. The Parish had a strong liturgical heritage. He was fortunate to have 4 retired clergy who assisted with various duties. It was there that he realized the value of having retired clergy willing and able to offer support to the Rector. He and Cathy made the large Rectory available as a hostel for family of hospital patients from outside the city, NBCC students and paramedics on work placements and the like. It was a busy time with Cathy also working full time.

His retirement began in late 2010 in Nova Scotia ( Cathy was from this area). He was asked to serve in the Parish of Bridgewater and the Conqueralls ( 32 months) and then from in the Parish of Saint James, Mahone Bay ( 7 months). It has been a pleasure to serve where needed in the area. In May 2018 he became Priest in Charge of Saint John’s, Lunenburg and will continue in that capacity until a Rector is appointed.

Father Michael

June 3, 1953 - January12 2018

GWD5060Version2It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of The Rev. Michael Henry Mitchell on Friday, January 12, 2018 at the Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital, Lunenburg with his family by his side.

Born in Halifax on June 3, 1953, Michael was the son of the late John Alfred Mitchell and Ruth Josephine Mitchell.

Michael first served in the Roman Catholic Church with the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and was ordained as a deacon in 1979 and as a priest in 1980. The early years of his ministry were spent in Ontario in the parishes of Hamilton and Fort Frances.

Michael was received in the Anglican Church in 1996 and served in the parishes of St. Martin’s, Western Shore and St. Thomas, Fall River and on May 1, 2005, Michael and his wife, Holly came to the parish of St. John’s Anglican Church to serve as their Rector.

Michael’s ministry has led him to serve as a Retreat Director and ministry among Canada’s First Nations people in Labrador and Northern Ontario, as well as research with the Provincial Government and fund raising work in the not-for-profit sector. He has served as the co-chair of the Diocese of NS and PEI Leap for Faith Capital Campaign, and as a member of the Diocesan Planned Giving Committee since 1998 and chair of the Committee from 2005 to 2008. In 2009, Michael was appointed Regional Dean of the South Shore Region of the Diocese and in January, 2012, he was named Archdeacon of the 13 parishes of the South Shore.

As a talented pianist, Michael was always looking for opportunities to share his love of music, whether through his own participation in services or through opening up the doors of the church to world class performances by international artists.

To have a ministry with boundaries so wide and deep, Michael depended upon and cherished the support from his family. Times shared in simple pleasures like gardening, cooking, hiking and reading were all considered precious to him and were a great source of his strength.

Michael is survived by his wife, Holly; his daughters, Christy Hagen of Bedford, Michelle Hagen (Jody) of Dartmouth and his son, Michael (Paula) Landygo, of Winnipeg; grandchildren, Kaitlyn, Caleigh and Trinity; his sister-in-law, Teri Bobinski of Wadena, SK; his brothers-in-law, George (Inessa) Kulyk of Basel, Switzerland; Morris (Pat) Kulyk of Cochrane, AB; his brothers, Greg (Sharon) Mitchell, of Brookside; John (Mary) Mitchell of Brookside; sister, Debbie (Kevin) Wilson of Elmsdale; nieces, Trina, of Brookside; Crista-Lee (Ruben), of Canmore, AB; Stephanie (Keith) and Haley, both of Elmsdale; nephews, Matthew (Jennifer), of Brookside; Johnny (Sarah) of Eastern Passage; Stephen (Heidi) of Brookside; his aunt, Pearl Gregory of Elmsdale, and numerous great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by his parents, Jack and Ruth Mitchell and his uncle, Harry Gregory of Elmsdale, as well as numerous aunts and uncles.

Michael will always be remembered for his big smile, his sense of humor, his infectious laugh, his positive attitude, his story telling, his generosity and support of all those he knew and loved. He treasured his times spent with all of his family and especially his grandchildren, whom he loved more than words can say. He shared his love of travelling (cruising) with his wife, Holly, and together they had travelled extensively.

Michael had a profound love for the people of all the parishes he served.

A Memorial Service to celebrate Michael’s life was be held 2:00 p.m. Saturday, January 20, 2018 at St. John’s Anglican Church, Lunenburg, The Most Reverend Ron Culter officiating. Interment at St. Martin’s Anglican Cemetery, Martin’s River.

Barbara Butler Organist – Choir Director

Barbara ButlerBarbara Butler is the Organist – Choir Director at St. John’s Anglican Church in Lunenburg. A chamber musician, choral conductor, organist and music educator, she is a well-known champion for the arts in Nova Scotia.

Born in Newfoundland, Barbara earned her Bachelor of Music Degree from Acadia University with majors in piano and organ. She is also a graduate of Banff School of Fine Arts in Arts Management, The Institute of Choral Arts (Nova Scotia Choral Federation), England’s Royal School of Church Music and the International Organ Academy (Holland). In 1990 she was made a Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. In 2002, Barbara was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal by Lieutenant Governor Myra Freeman for her service to music and the arts in Nova Scotia. She is a 2006 recipient of a Women of Excellence Award in the field of culture from the Canadian Progress Club (Halifax – Cornwallis). In October, 2011 she was honoured to receive an Honourary Doctorate in Civil Law from the University of King’s College. In March, 2012 Barbara was awarded the Queen Elizabeth 11 Diamond Jubilee Medal by Lieutenant Governor Mayann Francis.

Barbara Butler is the Artistic and Administrative Director of Musique Royale, a Festival of Early Music in Nova Scotia which has its base at St. John’s Church in Lunenburg. She is the Founder and past Artistic Director of the St. Cecilia Concert Series and former Director of the Lieutenant Governor’s Concert Series.

Barbara has strong affiliations with many arts organizations in the province and has sat on various boards including the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts, Debut Atlantic, Opera Nova Scotia, the Royal Canadian College of Organists and the Nova Scotia Talent Trust.

Mary Wagner, Parish Secretary

Mary WagnerMary started her administrative position with St. John's Anglican Church September 11, 2000 after a lengthy career in the banking industry. She grew up in Mahone Bay, moved to the Lunenburg area, worked and raised her family. Mary went through the transition period of rising from the ashes due to the fire that destroyed much of the church November 1, 2001. She witnessed the hard work of parishioners, members of the community and people from many parts of the world as they came together to do all they could to help with the restoration of the church. Mary sees the church as being vibrant with an active Sunday School, a phenomenal music program, committed and caring volunteers and parishioners, who love and are dedicated to their church. She receives great pleasure coming in contact with many of these folks during a normal day at the parish office.

Duncan Crowdis Robert MacMillan and Blake Starratt, Parish Wardens

Honorary Associate Priests – Supporting Clergy

Rev. Linda Macdonald • 902 634-9473;
Rev. Oliver Osmond • 902 634-8589,