Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
July 13, 2008
Being A Person for Others
A few weeks ago the News World lost one of its most distinguished and well known TV hosts namely, Tim Russert. The fact that Tim died so suddenly at still a rather young age, made the loss an even starker reality. His passing brought to the fore a little known fact, at least to the outside world, that Tim was a good and practicing Catholic. In the last issue of America, a weekly magazine written and published by the Jesuits, the editors found it appropriate to comment on Tim’s life. The following is taken from this commentary.
Tim Russert was educated by Jesuits first at Canisius High School in Buffalo and John Carroll University in Cleveland. Not only was Tim educated by Jesuits but the Jesuit “world” held him in very high esteem. He was a recipient of honorary degrees from many of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the country. Russert embodied a certain ideal of Jesuit education: the working-class youth who, through diligence and faith, contributes to his family, his church and the common good, while keeping a sense of humor, even about his own past as a Jesuit alumnus. He delighted in recounting the comment of John Sturm, S.J. Prefect of discipline at Canisius. When the young Russert asked Father Sturm for mercy after a minor infraction, the prefect said, “Mercy is for God, I deliver justice!”
The expression “Man for others” (or person for others) is a phrase often used to describe the ideal Jesuit alumnus or alumna. Pedro Arrupe, S.J., who popularized the expression, meant it to be a challenge: it is not simply about “being nice” but being a person of self-sacrifice in the cause of justice who strives to emulate Christ in his labors and loves. Russert exemplified this ideal in both his professional and personal life. We pray that he will now enjoy God’s abundant love and, yes, mercy.
Besides the fact that Tim Russert is a good example of being a man of faith, dedicated to family, friends and yes, to his work, it is also noteworthy that Tim was able to balance all of these areas of his life and still maintain happiness and success. This is probably the greatest part of his legacy. Tim Russert did not choose between his work and his family. He did not choose between financial success and fidelity to his Catholic beliefs. Clearly he did not feel that he had to live a compartmentalized or even a schizophrenic life as a “practicing” Catholic when at Mass and a popular and financially successful person at work.
Perhaps we can take some time to reflect on this idea of being well balanced individuals. The fast paced world we live in often tempts us to neglect our much needed balance in life. We venture into the work arena totally absorbed in its intricacies not realizing that we are allowing this force to consume our being. We quickly forget that we must remain totally intact. We often allow the cultural and societal norms to dictate our life’s journey. Consequently we often find ourselves unhappy.
Thanks to Tim Russert’s example we have been reminded that a Faith based life and personal success are not mutually exclusive concepts. Thank You much Tim for all you’ve given this world in your life time.
Lorette P. Nault