Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Ambassador Theresa A. Tull
TULL: Never had to do that and I wasn't even the keenest babysitter when they started having their own children. I would do it occasionally, but I was never comfortable with it. I did some babysitting in the neighborhood, but preferred toddlers to infants.
Q: Where did you family fall politicalwise?
TULL: Oh, the Democrats. My dad was a Democrat and my mother, too and most of her brothers and sisters.
Q: How about religion? Where in this sort of mixed group, how were you raised?
TULL: Very devout Catholic. My mother was a very devout and very sincere Catholic. A very loving woman and my dad supported her. He didn't go to church with us, but on rainy Sundays he would frequently drive us to church. It was about an eight to ten block walk. My mother didn't drive. Other days we would walk to church, but if it were raining sometimes he'd say come on I'll give you a ride. I would think he's sitting in the car reading the newspaper and I'm in here in church. I remember when I made my first communion, a big event in any Catholic's life; I was seven years old. I didn't know my father was going to be there and I'm walking down the aisle and here's my dad beaming and waving, Theresa, which he shouldn't have done, but I was thrilled to death that there he was.
Religion was a key part of our life, but my mother never tried to proselytize my dad. He was such a wonderful human being and it just was, he used to say, it's faith, I don't have faith. You've got the faith, you don't even have to think about it, you were baptized into it. I wasn't and it's not there for me. Now, as it turned out about two months before he died he converted to Catholicism and some people said, well what a nice gift to your mother. Well, knowing my dad I don't think so. He was a pretty strong thinker on his own and he had an awful lot of children praying that he would get the faith, so I think he really got the faith. I don't think it was just I'll do this for my wife because I'm dying kind of thing, but anyway he did eventually die a Catholic. Never went to church. Had great times throughout the year with some of our parish priests. The priests used to come over on Friday nights for supper and they'd play poker, they'd get a couple of guys over and they'd play poker.
Q: You know the Catholic Church has all sorts of manifestations, but how about when you were in New Jersey, what was your impression of the church? Was it a heavy hand, thou shall not do that, go read that, see that or anything?