As part of Mount Angel Seminary's observance of the Week of Christian Unity, Mary Jo Tully offered a discussion entitled "Ecumenism at the Local Level" the evening of January 22nd in the Abbey Bookstore. Tully, the Chancellor for the Archdiocese of Portland as well as the Ecumenical Officer for the Archdiocese, addressed a group of about twenty seminarians and faculty.
Tully began her talk by emphasizing that ecumenism, the relationships Catholics have with other Christians, take work all year, not just during the Week of Christian Unity. She advised the seminarians to find parishioners who know the most about their own faith and who are willing to nurture relationships rather than engage in apologetics for ecumenical work in their future parishes.
In ecumenical dialogue, Tully explained, the Catholics involved should not be trying to prove a point. They should be striving to show other Christians that they believe in their faith. At the same time, they should also be striving to believe that other Christians truly hold the beliefs that they do.
Ecumenical work begins at the physical level of shared work and ministries, Tully explained. After that investment has been made, sharing on an intellectual and spiritual level may be possible.
The event was organized by seminarians Stephen Saroki and Greg Snyder, members of the seminary's ecumenism committee.