Last Nov. 3, bishops, clergy and parishioners from the diocese offered a Celebration of Thanksgiving service for Shepherd’s ministry, according to the Diocesan Post, the monthly diocesan newspaper of British Columbia.
Shepherd left behind a legacy of “holy and prayerful life,” said Archbishop David Crawley, former bishop of Kootenay and former Metropolitan of British Columbia, in his homily.
Bishop Barry Jenks, former bishop of British Columbia, paid tribute to Shepherd, saying he carried “disciplined pattern and depth of prayer” into his retirement. He recalled that in one of his visits to Shepherd’s home on Salt Spring Island, the latter had him go through his intercession list “updating it and making it relevant to his daily prayer for all of the clergy and others in the diocese for whom he was daily praying.”
Others remembered Shepherd’s sharp wit and exceptional intellect.
Born July 15, 1926 in Victoria, B.C., Shepherd graduated with a B.A. from the University of British Columbia in 1948. He continued his studies in the U.K where he received an Associateship of King’s College (AKC) degree at the University of London in 1952.
He returned to Canada in 1957 and served as rector of the parish of St. Paul in Hamilton, Ont., and two years later, as rector of All Saints parish, in Winnipeg. In 1965, he became dean of All Saints’ Cathedral, Edmonton; four years later, he became dean of the diocese of Montreal, a position he held for 14 years.
In 1983, Shepherd and his family moved to Victoria, where he became rector of St. Matthias Parish. In 1985, he was elected bishop of the diocese of British Columbia, a position he held until his retirement in 1992.
Jenks recalled that four days before Shepherd died, they had read the Gospel and the traditional prayers for a dying person. “From deep within his very weakened body,” Shepherd said, “Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ, praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…Amen.”
Shepherd is survived by his wife, Ann, their six children and eight grandchildren.