Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of Special Olympics, dies at age 88

Eunice Mary Kennedy Shriver

(July 10, 1921- August 11, 2009)was a member of the Kennedy family and helped to found Special Olympics in the 1960s as a national organization. Born in Brookline, Massachusetts, she was the fifth of nine children of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Kennedy

Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States, relayed a message from Pope Benedict XVI to the Shriver family.

He said the pontiff "unites himself spiritually with each of you at this difficult time, holding close to his heart Eunice as she is called home to eternal life and trusting in the words of sacred Scripture: 'What will separate us from the love of Christ?'"

Cardinal Sean O'Malley

We are saddened by the passing of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and we extend our sincere condolences and prayers to her husband, Sargent, her children, and to the entire Kennedy family.
I have known Eunice and Sargent for many years, and have many fond memories of celebrating Mass in their home, especially as a young priest with Cesar Chavez and the farm workers.
She was always an example to others, as she dedicated herself to the social Gospel, the Gospel of Life. Her commitment to this Gospel was evidenced in her remarkable work with Special Olympics.

Her efforts provided opportunities for young people across the global community to see the value and dignity of every human person, and she taught those valuable life lessons through competitive sports. She was a champion for all Americans and we give thanks for her commitment, care and love for all people. Her death is a great loss for our Catholic community, but her life has left a deep and lasting impression upon the hearts of those who knew her and her work.

We will keep Mrs. Shriver and all those who mourn her passing in our prayers. We ask God to grant her eternal peace and we give thanks for her life.

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