WASHINGTON (CNN) - I promised you I would report on my wonderful opportunity actually to meet Pope Benedict XVI while he was on the campus of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. It was a very special moment for me.
Accompanied by Father David O’Connell, the President of Catholic University, the pontiff walked into a small room where ten invited guests were anxiously awaiting his arrival. He could not have been nicer. He graciously shook hands with all of us, and gave us each a gold medal showcasing his visit to the United States. This is something I will always treasure.
Father O’Connell, in introducing me to the Pope, noted that I work for CNN. The Pope said something about that being “very important.” I told him that it was wonderful of him to honor the United States by paying this historic visit.
One footnote: My friend Tim Russert, the NBC News Washington Bureau Chief, was also among the special guests invited to meet with the Pope. The two of us are both originally from Buffalo, New York, and we couldn’t help but reflect on how extraordinary it was for two Buffalonians - one from the South Side and the other from the North Side - winding up in Washington and receiving this high honor. I think we both were pinching ourselves. Needless to say, we were both on our best behavior.