Mary Jo Tully
Mary Jo Tully
Mary Jo Tully, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Portland, has been named “Ecumenist of the Year” by Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon.

Tully, also a columnist for the Catholic Sentinel, will receive the award on Tuesday, May 8, at an evening set to begin at 5 p.m. at the Hilton Hotel in Portland. The kudos comes in recognition of leadership and commitment to ecumenical dialogue and ministry.

Tully was the first laywoman to fill the chancellor position in any Catholic diocese and is the former director of religious education for the Archdiocese of Chicago. She is the author of a major Catholic religious education textbook series and continues to write and lecture on catechetics and spirituality.

The Ecumenical Ministries board cites her years of ecumenical commitments and service both within the Christian community and with Jewish, Muslim and other faiths.

"She has been one of the outstanding promoters of ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, growing out of the Roman Catholic commitment to ecumenism," Ecumenical Ministries says. "Her outreach has fostered deep understanding and respect among faiths in Portland and throughout the region."

Ecumenical Ministries is a statewide association of Christian denominations that offers community ministry programs, ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, environmental ministry and public policy advocacy.

The organization also will laud former Catholic Sentinel writer Nancy Haught, longtime religion reporter for the Oregonian. Haught receives the Louise Hunderup Award for Religious Education in recognition of her writing on faith and ethics.

Also on the list of honorees is Marcy Westerling, founder of the Rural Organizing Project, and the late Robert Ingram, who was director of the City of Portland’s Office of Youth Violence Prevention.

Three Corvallis faith leaders will be honored for an interfaith spirit of community service, dialogue and relationship building. Rabbi Benjamin Barnett of Beit Am Mid-Willamette Valley Jewish Community, Emir Mohamed Siala of the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center, and the Rev. Elizabeth Oettinger of First Congregational United Church of Christ came together after the 2010 Pioneer Square bomb plot and subsequent bombing of the Corvallis Islamic Center.