2014 ACMCU Building Bridges Award Recipients



Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick           Ingrid Mattson


The Annual ACMCU Building Bridges of Understanding Award recognizes individuals who have dedicated their life’s work to fostering greater understanding between faith groups. Past recipients include Hans Küng, Sulayman Nyang, Patriarch Michel Sabbah, and the late Fathi Osman. This year, the award honored two remarkable figures, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick and Ingrid Mattson whose efforts to promote interfaith relations, peace-building and social justice have been extraordinary. Through their tireless work and often in the face of adversity, these individuals have devoted their lives to furthering the most basic of human rights: justice and equality for all people.


Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of New York in 1958. Early in his ministry he was assigned to Puerto Rico, where in 1965 he was named President of the Catholic University of Puerto Rico. Returning to New York for pastoral ministry, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar of Harlem in 1977. Named as first Bishop of Metuchen in 1981, he subsequently served as Archbishop of Newark and then in 2000 was transferred to Washington. He was created a Cardinal by Blessed John Paul II in 2001. His retirement was accepted in 2006. In 2011 he served as a Distinguished Senior Scholar at the Library of Congress. All his life he has been involved in social ministry. 

Dr. Ingrid Mattson is a Muslim religious leader, a scholar of Islamic Studies, and an expert in interfaith relations.  Since 2012 she has held the London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies at Huron University College at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. Dr. Mattson was educated in Canada and the United States, earning a BA in Philosophy and Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo and a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago.  From 1998 to 2012 she was Professor of Islamic Studies at Hartford Seminary in CT where she developed and directed the first accredited graduate program for Muslim chaplains in America, and served as Director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. From 2001-2010 Dr. Mattson served as vice-president, then as president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the first woman to serve in either position. Her writings, both academic and public, focus primarily on Islamic theological ethics, interfaith engagement and peacebuilding.  Dr. Mattson has served on many boards and committees, including the Faith-based Advisory Council of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Interfaith Taskforce of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, the Council of Global Leaders of the C-100 of the World Economic Forum and the Leadership Group of the U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project. Dr. Mattson is the recipient of numerous awards and honors.  

Photos from the award program: