On June 3 Bishop John Chapman appointed the Reverend Doctor Linda Privitera to serve as St Martin’ interim priest and ensure a smooth hand over to the incumbent he appoints to be St Martin’s Rector. Linda’s formidable resume is ready testament to the breadth and depth of episcopal and life experience befitting someone of the so-called boomer generation. Over the coming months parishioners and members of St Martin’s Parish Council will have the benefit of Linda’s spiritual and practical wisdom along with her clearsighted leadership.
By her own admission she brings to the task her extrovert nature with strong intuitive and contemplative sides. She leaves one eager to learn more about what has shaped her priesthood, her artistic bent, her life as a healer, teacher, facilitator, mother, grandmother and gardener. Born, raised and educated in the eastern USA, Linda relocated from Connecticut to Ottawa with her spouse, who is a full professor of political science at Carleton University. For the record: Linda has a Masters of Divinity from Yale University Divinity School, a degree in Anglican studies at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and a Doctorate in Ministry from the Episcopal Divinity School which is now at Union Seminary in New York. An impressive retinue of clergy appointments and initiatives also includes printmaking studies at the Provincetown Fine Arts School.
Although retired from fulltime parish ministry some five years ago, she was called back to serve in a priest associate role at All Saints with St Matthias in Westboro where, in addition to leading retreats and regular preaching, she accompanied five young men from that parish, part of the 900 young people who attended the Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth CLAY gathering in PEI in 2016.
Retirement notwithstanding, Linda maintains ongoing interest and study in the arts, liturgy and theology, Her latest spiritual work has been in the reconciliation movement with indigenous people where she counts herself a continual learner and unlearner. Winter months finds her in a small bungalow near her only sister in Florida where she gardens, takes more art classes and tries to clean up work spaces containing over thirty years of sermons and church committee files.
Dedication, determination, devotion and a spirit of delight are among the hallmarks of Linda’s priesthood. In her own words: “I give thanks to God daily for the opportunity to exercise my vocation as priest.”