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Pontifications

Russert funeral.jpgFine roundups of the sendoff for the late Tim Russert from the WaPo’s Howard Kurtz and the NYT’s Jacques Steinberg. Both focused on the public memorial at the Kennedy Center, which was televised–and could anyone beat an acoustic version of “Thunder Road” for a eulogy? That focus was natural, as the parade of celebs and journos paid poignant tribute to Russert. But the private funeral mass earlier in the day at Holy Trinity was the spiritual anchor of the day, and from those who were there, just as moving. Catholic News Service has the best coverage, including the most extensive accounting of Cardinal McCarrick’s homily:

Cardinal McCarrick told the congregation that though Russert was still young and energetic, he believes his longtime friend was ready to be called to God’s kingdom, because in life he followed the lessons of the Gospel, “that we must always be ready,” and “that we must always be generous.”
“No matter how busy, no matter how harried, Tim never turned his back on a good cause,” he said. “How many times have many of us asked him to lend his name, to give his time and to reach out in help to a worthy cause or a person in need. A list of his benefactions would be hard to compute, but it was always done with graciousness and generosity.”
The tributes for Russert that have flooded the airwaves and print media since June 13 also speak volumes about the impact he had on his family, colleagues, viewers and listeners, Cardinal McCarrick said.
“It has been said in the valiant love and deep faith of his wife and son,” he said. “All that remains is to say thank you to the good and gracious God who gave us Tim Russert for 58 years and to pray that the beloved anchor of ‘Meet the Press’ is now sitting at the large table of the Lord to begin a conversation which will last forever.”

FINAL NOTE: I neglected to cite earlier this Jon Meacham essay in Newsweek, which is remarkable, and not just because it is an elegy to Russert, but for an entire Catholic culture.

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