Rev. Ann Marie Fitzgerald has held the office of Appointed Designated Minister with Clergy Support Memorial Church since November 2, 2016. Her vocation to ministry, her years of service as a chaplain, her commitment to community as well as her strong belief in God guiding her life, are some of the qualities that the board recognized, and subsequently unanimously agreed to raise her office to that of Ordained Minister of Spiritual Care on March 28, 2022. Ann Marie is no stranger to the challenges and struggles in life and she looks forward to a ministry of compassion and support for others seeking a direction in life to find their faith and establish their relationship with their higher power.
- Graduate Certificate – Canadian Celebrants Institute (2021)
- Graduate of Pastoral Studies – Loyola Institute for Ministry, Loyola University, New Orleans – 2005
- Certificate Of Practical Theology – Resurrection Centre – University of Waterloo – 2001
- Certificate – Canadian Institute of Spirituality & Aging – 1994
- Chaplaincy Internship – Freeport Hospital (Kitchener) – 1994-1997
Membership & Awards
- Member – Canadian Association for Spiritual Care – 2002 to present
- Community Award – 20 years of coaching young girls’ baseball – City of Kitchener
- Community Award – Coach skiing to children of the War Amps Champs Program – City of London
- Community Award – 25 years of dedicated outreach of marginalized communities – City of Kitchener
- Certificate of Recognition – 25 years of on-call Chaplaincy service – Grand River Hospital – Spirituality Department.
Ministry of Spiritual Care
Rev. Ann Marie Fitzgerald is a woman with a strong faith in GOD who has developed a ministry based in service and compassion. She goes where she is called and has dedicated many years to providing inspiration, counselling, monthly worship services at Long Term Care facilities, weekly worship services and visitations to retirement homes and shut-ins within her community. Her faith has and continues to encourage her to mentor young girls and women, to support and encourage people with physical disabilities to achieve their full potential to meet their goals, to support the elderly and their families in times of crisis, and to mentor members of the LGBTQ2+ community.
Ann Marie’s roots in ministry began at a very young age. She came from a family who endured and struggled through hard times. She recalls hearing her parents always say, “God will walk this journey with us” and recognizing the value of their charitable activities. Their already crowded home housed other families who moved to Ontario with no place to live. Her father delivered hampers to the St. Vincent De Paul Society of Kitchener-Waterloo twice a week and continued his commitment to this work until the age of 91. These examples in her life and more formed the foundations her ministry.
Over several years, she has been involved in pastoral care through her company “Sharing is Caring Pastoral Services” and for over 30 years served in various parishes, hospitals and retirement homes within the Kitchener-Waterloo region, such as;
- As an on call paid Chaplain and Spiritual Care volunteer providing counselling support at the Grand River Hospital, Freeport Hospital and St. Mary’s General Hospital (1994-2019)
- Provided a monthly church service as well as weekly visiting to the residents of Conestoga Lodge Retirement Home (2015-2018)
- Chaplaincy services and provided weekly worship services for the Westmount Retirement/Long Term Facility (2016-2017)
- Assisted with worship services at the Blessed Sacrament Church Kitchener (1994-2009)
- Pastoral Care Coordinator, Team Leader and Facilitator for the “Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)” at the Blessed Sacrament Church Kitchener (1998-2015)
Rev. Ann Marie’s found she enjoyed making a difference with fundraising activities. She supported an event for a person going through a kidney transplant, she coordinated an all-Ontario hospital weekend slow-pitch tournament to fundraise for the London Thames Valley Children Center and she has helped raise funds for the Kitchener-Waterloo food bank and the House of Friendship for homeless men.
In 1974 at the age of 20, Ann Marie was in a car accident and was a quadriplegic for almost three years. Originally, she was told she would never walk again, and she credits GOD for her recovery and successful rehabilitation. Rather than being angry, she found that she was truly blessed to have the chance to be brought closer to her Creator through prayer and reflection.
When Ann Marie is not offering a listening ear to a member of her community or offering a helping hand to someone who just had to ask, she can be found replenishing her soul with friends and family, or perhaps meditating, enjoying long walks or simply finding a quiet place to read.
Her go to books to provide insight and motivation for her own journey could be Singing In My Sleep (Thomas Wade), What Happened to You (Bruce D. Perry) and the devotional Our Daily Bread Ministries monthly booklet. She is most happy when she is enjoying the outdoors by playing various sports include fishing or spending some leisure time on their boat on the St. Clair River or Lake Huron. Don’t be surprised to see Ann Marie conducting at wedding ceremony on a pontoon boat-wedding-chapel. An avid fan of Celtic and Blues music, Ann Marie is truly in joy when she is playing the washboard or the spoons while enjoying a good old downhome kitchen party. She will quickly join in to sing along and “jam it up” with local entertainers at a local pub or at a long-term care facility.
With many opportunities to be present with those that are suffering in various ways, Reverend Ann Marie Fitzgerald is looking forward to being active in ministry “as long as I can do it”, continuing her work in hospitals, retirement homes as well as people unable to leave their own homes. She also wants to share her love, understanding and compassion to continue being a mentor for members of the LGBTQ2+ community. “I have always believed when we open our hearts to others, unending blessings flow within ourselves.”