restricted access Living Ecumenism: Margaret O'Gara's Ecumenical Ecclesiology*


Margaret O'Gara was a prominent Canadian theologian who taught at the faculty of theology of St. Michael's College (University of Toronto) for thirty-six years. She was deeply engaged in the ecumenical movement, mainly as a Catholic representative in international and North American ecumenical dialogues: with the Anglican Church, the Disciples of Christ, the Lutheran Church, the Mennonites, and Evangelical communities. This essay is a study of the principal features of her ecumenical theology and her involvement in ecumenical dialogues, focusing on five major themes: the purification of memory, ecumenical gift exchange, primacy in the universal church, friendship in the ecumenical movement, common prayer and intercommunion, and the ecclesiology of communion and the nature of the church. While all of O'Gara's ecumenical involvement was in bilateral dialogues, she was totally committed to ecumenism as a principle of life—a living and lived ecumenism.