Calgary Priests Remembered
Father Len Hagel
Calgary pastor Len Hagel will be missed by John Syratt About 1,500 people gathered in and around St. Mary’s Cathedral on Tuesday, October 18 to bid farewell to one of Calgary’s much-loved charismatic Christian leaders. On October 13, with his family by his side, Father Len Hagel, visionary pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Calgary, died of cancer at the age of 70 following 42 years of service to Christ. “This was the largest funeral for a Christian leader I’ve attended since I’ve been in this city,” said long-time Baptist pastor, John Teibe, who attended the funeral with fellow minister and friend, John Hutchinson. “It’s awesome to see the influence of Len in the city and to see how people loved him.” According to Teibe the funeral service, which had been planned and arranged in advance by Hagel, was a St. Michael’s kind of warm, loving, caring worshipful, upbeat service with exceptionally good worship songs. The service was presided over by Bishop Fred Henry who gave the primary message, speaking from the book of John chapter 15. He especially emphasized verse 16 where Jesus said to His disciples, “You have not chosen Me but I have chosen you that you go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.” The bishop drew attention to the fact that the size of the crowd in attendance to honor Len Hagel was indicative of the fruit that remained from his ministry. “He spoke about Len’s great commitment to his people and his strong emphasis on working with others,” said Teibe of the bishop’s talk. “One of Len’s strong passions was in bringing God’s people together and that’s why he participated in the Global Day of Prayer.” “The service had an obvious sense of the presence of God and the work of the Holy Spirit. At least one half of the congregation were raising their hands and praising the Lord. You would have thought you were in a charismatic church,” smiled Teibe. “There was a wonderful, heartfelt participation of the people. That warm awesome sense of worship, praise and adoration to the Lord,” he added. “It was so unlike any average funeral,” Teibe admitted. “It was inspiring and filled with praise and thanksgiving to God for a life well-lived. Not just focused on Len but on God. John and I were sort of blown away by how extraordinary this service was.” Hagel was known as a dedicated faithful servant of the Lord with a focus to see people come to faith in Christ and grow in their spiritual lives. “I give thanks to God for Len and his amazing influence in the total Christian church across the city,” Teibe offered. “He’s so well known and loved all over Calgary. There’s no question about the powerful impact he’s made on our city. It’s made our inter-church relations dramatically different from anything we’ve experienced in past years. It’s a big loss to us. God knows how long to keep us here. This was his time and he’s entered into his reward. He’s left a church that’s filled with believers that have been given sufficient teaching and saturated with God’s word and will continue on.” Len Hagel is survived by six brothers and four sisters-in-law, numerous nieces and nephews, and was predeceased by his parents and two sisters. Obituary Rev. Leonard Joseph Hagel of Calgary passed away on Thursday, October 13, 2005 at the age of 70 years. Father Len was born in Schuler, AB and graduated from Notre Dame High School in Wilcox, SK in 1955. He attended Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA for three years before entering St. Joseph’s Seminary in Edmonton, AB and was ordained to the Priesthood in 1963. Father Len served at St. John’s Parish in Calgary, St. Augustine in Taber, St. Gerard’s and Holy Name, both in Calgary, St. Mary’s in Medicine Hat, AB, St. Mark’s and St. Michael’s, both in Calgary. Father Leonard is survived by six brothers and four sisters-in-law, Rev. Paul Hagel of Mission City, BC, Clarence and Arlene Hagel of Schuler, AB, Tony and Bea Hagel of Edmonton, AB, Frank Hagel, and Pat and Kim Hagel, all of Medicine Hat, AB, and Ben and Elaine Hagel of Nelson, BC; three sisters and two brothers-in-law, Fran and Bill Chevrier of Medicine Hat, Sister Vicki Hagel scsl of Wilcox, SK and Marie and Phil Myerchin of Anchorage, AK; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents; and two sisters, Millie Lynch and Sister Ginny Hagel scsl.