In this video with Sally Quinn, Tim Russert discusses his childhood, faith, the Catholic Church, religion mixing with politics, and a life of service.
You really can’t ask for a more decent, honest description of how folks of faith can turn their moral convictions into service for others.
And over at On Faith, Timothy Shriver writes:
C.S. Lewis once wrote, “You have never met a mere mortal.” Those words came to me as soon as I heard of the sudden and heartbreaking death of Tim Russert. He was no mere mortal.
The last time I saw Tim Russert was just 10 days ago. He came up to me as I was talking to his sparkling wife, Maureen Orth, about the school in Colombia that bears her name and is the focus of her passion. Tim asked me about my uncle Ted, who’s fighting cancer. He told me that he’d written to Ted to express his support. “I wrote him,” he said, “and told him that I was praying for him with my wood bead rosary. I told him that nothing beats praying with the wood bead rosary.”
I’m not sure why, but on that particular day, I had my own wood bead rosary in my pocket, a rosary I’d bought in Nazareth last Christmas. As Tim spoke, my fingers were on the beads and I felt a rush of emotion and strength. I felt an immediate closeness to Tim and an immediate sense that my uncle was in God’s hands at that very moment. I could only smile.
I didn’t have any words. I simply pulled the rosary from my pocket, cupped it in my hands and showed it to Tim. He smiled. “You got it,” he said. And in the moment, I knew I did have “it.” And I knew he had “it” too.
Many things will be written about the greatness of this brilliant journalist in the days ahead, and many people knew him far better than I. But I hope amid all the political and journalistic wisdom, people will remember that Tim Russert was a man raised and steeped in faith—a faith that focused on service, a faith that is confident in God’s plan, and a faith dedicated to the love of peace and the work of justice.
Life was the race that was most important to Tim Russert and he won it by a landslide. It was no accident that he loved people, loved the pursuit of the common good we call politics, loved his family. After all, he loved God and prayed with a wood bead rosary.
Tim Russert was no mere mortal. May his wife Maureen and his son Luke be comforted in believing that the mother of God to whom he prayed was with him at the hour of his death. Amen.