I’d always liked Tim Russert, but reading his book about his father, I see Tim Russert as even more of a role model for people. In the book, I enjoyed the stories about Jesuit Priest John Sturm the Prefect of Discipline at Canisius High School in Buffalo, New York.
OK, I am Jewish, but my wife Elaine is Irish Catholic as Tim Russert was. I asked her how Jesuits were thought of. She responded by saying, “They are the elite of Catholic priests and I wouldn’t want to mess with them.
Well, you wouldn’t want to mess with Father Sturm. He could take care of himself and deal with miscreants who wanted to make trouble. He made it clear connections were not going to help you. You were going to have to work hard. (One kid who would not get a haircut, found out the hard way).
Kids who had been top dog throughout their school careers were now just one dog in a giant kennel. You didn’t get away with anything. Late because you said the Delaware Avenue bus was stuck because the drawbridge at National Steel was raised? Wrong! Father Sturm already called the plant.
Thought there was too much snow and you were going to spend the day in the downtown luncheonette Messina’s? Nice try, though you have to admire the kid, who jumped the counter and put on an apron. And Tim Russert’s dad, Big Russ wasn’t going to be very sympathetic.
Wanted to get into the burlesque show? Well carrying your schoolbags doesn’t help, but it hits home even more, when the ticket taker asks, “Does Father Sturm know you’re here?” The dog ate my homework, wouldn’t have even been on the radar.
This is not to take anything away from Tim Russert. He already had certain things instilled him him before Father Sturm took charge. As Father Sturm said to him, “Russert, God grants mercy, I give discipline.”
See this website from Father Sturm speaking about Tim Russert. http://www.jesuitvocation.org/jesuits/ministry/reflection_sturm_john.shtml
- Tim Russert (iamanauthorimustauth.wordpress.com)