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CBS’s John Dickerson of ‘Face the Nation’ talks about politics, the media—and being Catholic

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I had no idea he was Catholic, until I read this fascinating interview with Tony Rossi:

TR: I read a Parade Magazine interview with you a while back, and you mentioned that you attend 5:30 Mass on Saturday evenings in the church where you grew up. How does that weekly hour of worship weave its way into your life as a husband, father, and journalist? Does it ground you in a certain way?

John Dickerson: It absolutely does. It grounds me for all the reasons that the Catholic faith does for all of us who worship. But for me also, going to the church, Holy Trinity, where I went to Mass as a little boy, where I had my First Communion. The priest who married us was from Holy Trinity, Father James English who just passed away. It’s full of so many memories of my life and my childhood and the grounding nature of faith that I’ve always reached to. Also, in the case of politics and the world of television, there are a lot of things that can blow you off course and make you forget yourself. But that hour of worship and worship in general – no, I’m not as good as I should be – really help me try to keep the eye on the ball instead of getting distracted.

TR: How did those seeds of faith get planted in your life?

John Dickerson: Mom [ed. note: pioneering broadcast journalist Nancy Dickerson], in particular, was a very devout Catholic. My grandmother, her mother, went to Mass every day. My mother went to Clarke College for 2 years and Dubuque Catholic Girls School, so faith was a very important part of her life. It was a part of mine growing up. My father converted and became a Catholic. Even after my parents split, when I lived with my father, I would go to Mass at that same church when I was in high school. It just always has been with me.

I ended up marrying a Presbyterian. We both continue to worship, and that’s very much a part of our lives as we raise our children. We are hoping to do the kind of job our parents did with us in terms of trying to keep our children involved in the faith because of the role it’s played in our lives.

Read it all. 

Deacon Greg Kandra
Headlines and Homilies
Deacon Greg Kandra is a Roman Catholic deacon in the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York. For nearly three decades, he was a writer and producer for CBS News, where he contributed to a variety of programs and was honored with every major award in broadcasting. Deacon Greg now serves as Multimedia Editor for Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA.) He and his wife live in Forest Hills, New York.
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