The story

It was back in April when Pope Benedict XVI came to Washington. The Rev. David O'Connell, the president of The Catholic University of America, was hosting the pope for a large meeting with bishops.

Before that meeting, the Vatican said O'Connell could invite 10 guests to a small session with Benedict. Tim Russert and I were the only journalists on that special guest list. We were both thrilled, but Tim, a devout Catholic with deep roots in the Church, was very excited.

While we were waiting for the pope to arrive, he was like a little boy. He had his rosaries in his hand, ready for the pope to bless them. This was not the Tim Russert whom we all saw and admired as he grilled presidents, prime ministers, kings and mere politicians. When the pope finally approached him, he could barely utter a word. This was a special moment, and he knew it. Read full article »