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Honoring Judge Roll

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Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver has penned a moving tribute to Judge John Roll, one of the victims of Saturday’s massacre in Tucson.

The judge had been to Mass on Saturday morning, and was off to greet the Congresswoman with whom he worked to strengthen the federal courts in the Phoenix area. The Archbishop’s words convey just a small part of what must have been a remarkable life, and the conclusion of the short essay provides the best guide for anyone considering the aftermath of the tragedy:

John Roll was, finally, a man of unusual personal graciousness. Despite their political differences, Judge Roll and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat, had a cordial relationship of mutual respect. Giffords sought more resources for the court system, and Judge Roll was grateful. Precisely because of their differences, Roll tried to greet Giffords at her local appearances whenever he could. On the morning of his death, Roll went to Mass, and at 9:55 a.m., according to Martin, left his house to just “drop in” on Giffords’ public gathering as a courtesy, to say hello. He never came home.

This life passes. Eternity is forever. We need to act in this world accordingly, with lives of Christian service. Maureen and John Roll shared a life of quiet, powerful, authentic Catholic witness. Please keep them both, and the entire Roll family, in your prayers.

Read the whole thing and be grateful that we have such servants on the bench and in the Congress who are willing to serve even when the cost is so extraordinarily high.


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