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9/20/2016 8:33:00 AM
Our beloved godmother
Sentinel file photo
Mary Jo Tully and Archbishop John Vlazny stand with Vietnamese Catholics at annual Freedom Mass in Portland.
Sentinel file photo
Mary Jo Tully and Archbishop John Vlazny stand with Vietnamese Catholics at annual Freedom Mass in Portland.

On the occasion of honoring Miss Mary Jo Tully for her long and tireless dedication to the Archdiocese of Portland as chancellor, I would like to add the sentiments of generations of Vietnamese American Catholics in Portland towards the person we call “godmother.” This term of affection embodies all that Mary Jo means to us and all that she has done to help us. Like a godmother, she has looked out for our well-being since the first days of our resettlement in Portland.  She was always willing and ready with answers and solutions whenever our parish had a need. Being immigrants in a new land, we were anxious and unsure of the future but Mary Jo’s support and friendship were a steady source of encouragement for us to face challenges and overcome obstacles in the early days of the Southeast Asian Vicariate and, later, as Our Lady of Lavang Parish.

On more than one occasion, Mary Jo has also been a fairy godmother, waving her magic wand and making solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems appear out of thin air. And, like a doting godmother, she was always present at our important celebrations. She always came to our Lunar New Year Mass and reception. Her delight in handing out red envelopes to the children in the parish made the joyous occasion even more festive. After her arrival in Portland nearly 30 years ago, she  attended all but one of the annual Freedom Mass celebrations that we hold every July at the Grotto. Her presence always brought warmth and joy to the Vietnamese faith family.

To the parish councils that have served Our Lady of Lavang since its dedication, Mary Jo’s vast knowledge and experience have been invaluable and her counsel held in the highest esteem. Her steadfast and deep faith in God have been like a beacon for us to follow.  

We give thanks to God for sending us a dear friend, a loving godmother, a doting grandmother, a wise adviser and a staunch supporter. We will always have a place at our table, and a soft spot in our heart, for our beloved godmother.  

To-Ha Doan

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Article comment by: Jeanette Steinbach

She will be missed.

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