Biography: Bishop Mark L. MacDonald

The Right Rev. Mark MacDonald became the Anglican Church of Canada’s first National Indigenous Anglican Bishop in 2007,  after serving as bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Diocese of Alaska for 10 years.

This was a home-coming of sorts for Bishop MacDonald, who had attended Wycliffe College in Toronto and served as a priest in Mississauga, Ont.

Bishop MacDonald was born on Jan. 15, 1954, the son of Blake and Sue Nell MacDonald. He holds a B.A. in religious studies and psychology from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn., an M.A. in divinity from Wycliffe College, and did post-graduate work at Luther-Northwestern Theological Seminary in Minneapolis.

He has had a long and varied ministry, holding positions in Mississauga, Ont., Duluth, Minn., Tomah, Wis., Mauston, Wis., Portland, Ore., and the southeast regional mission of the Diocese of Navajoland. Immediately prior to his ordination to the episcopate, Bishop MacDonald was canon missioner for training in the Diocese of Minnesota and vicar of St. Antipas’ Church, Redby, Minn., and St. John-in-the-Wilderness Church, Red Lake, Red Lake Nation, Minn.

He is the board chair for Church Innovations, Inc., and a third order Franciscan.

Among Bishop MacDonald’s published works are:

  • “Native American Youth Ministries,” co-authored with Dr. Carol Hampton and published in Resource Book for Ministries with Youth and Young Adults, the Episcopal Church Center, New York, NY, 1995
  • “It’s in the Font: Sacramental connections between faith and environment,” Soundings, July 6, 1994, Vol. 16, No. 5
  • A Strategy for Growth for the Episcopal Church: Joining Multiculturalism and Evangelism, Inter-Cultural Ministry Development, San José, Calif., 1994.

Bishop MacDonald has co-edited The Chant of Life: Inculturation and the People of the Land (Liturgical Studies IV), Church Publishing Company, 2003.

He has also contributed to the following publications:

  • Holy Ground: A Gathering of Voices on Caring for Creation, ed. Lyndsay Moseley, Sierra Club Books, 2008
  • Edinburgh 2010: Mission Today and Tomorrow, ed. K. Kim and A. Anderson, Regnum Books, 2011
  • Life-Widening Mission: Global Anglican Perspectives, ed. Cathy Ross, Regnum Books, 2012
  • The Gospel after Christendom: New Voices, New Cultures, New Expressions, ed. Ryan Bolger, Baker, 2012
  • Green Shoots out of Dry Ground: Growing a New Future for the Church in Canada, ed. John Bowen, Wipf and Stock, 2013.

Bishop MacDonald and his wife Virginia have three children.

(Adapted from Bishop Mark MacDonald’s official biographical sketch as prepared by the Diocese of Alaska.)