Thursday, August 13, 2009

RIP Eunice Kennedy Shriver, pro-life till the end

Dear Best Buddies Family,

It is with a somber heart that I write to share with you that my beloved Mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, passed away today Tuesday, August 11.

She now has entered God's magnificent embrace in the same manner that she lived: at peace, surrounded by those who loved her.

Accordingly, my Mother's efforts on behalf of individuals with intellectual disabilities – particularly her work with Special Olympics – inspired me to similarly devote my life to this shared mission. Through her unwavering faith in their abilities, she helped me – and countless others – to appreciate the fact that everyone is capable of something exceptional; especially with the support and encouragement of friends and family. Through her exemplary endeavors, I learned that this support network is one of the most valuable assets anyone can and should have, regardless of one's abilities or disabilities.

My Mother's lifelong commitment to people with intellectual disabilities also taught me that there is no greater joy than the satisfaction of contributing one's time and energy to the enhancement of another person's life. The act of giving is the most rewarding manner by which to conduct each of our lives. Indeed, I know that my Mother continuously experienced such joy throughout her life.

With my Mother's passing, the Best Buddies family has lost one of its most magnanimous supporters and advocates. I know that like me, many of you will miss her smile, her words of encouragement, and simply her wonderful presence. Yet, I am comforted that her indelible spirit will always be with us, guiding us in our efforts to complete her vision for persons with intellectual disabilities ... for she knew that her fight for equality was far from completed.

On her behalf, and as we convey our last farewell, my family and I express our profound gratitude for your shared commitment to that collective dream. We would be honored if you would take some time to learn more about her life, share your own remembrances about her, and read those of others at I hope that you will not only read and perhaps contribute to the site, but also share it with your friends and family.

In lieu of flowers, and your sentiments indeed are forever appreciated, please consider making a donation in my Mother's name to an organization dedicated to the individuals she so lovingly devoted her life to, such as either Best Buddies ( or Special Olympics (, in order to help ensure that her inspiring legacy will live on in our mission of friendship.


Anthony K. Shriver
Founder and Chairman
Best Buddies International

Here's a moving tribute to Eunice from both the Knights of Columbus and the Susan B Anthony List on Catholic Key Blog.
This photos is of future Special Olympians who who help carry on Eunice's legacy of opportunities for all God's children to participate in the blessings of life.

Feminists for Life mourns the loss of Eunice Kennedy Shriver

A Remarkable Pro-Life Woman®

Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum founder Carol Crossed introduced FFL President Serrin M. Foster to Ms. Shriver at a pro-life dinner in 1994. "Ms. Shriver asked me to help organize an event in her home honoring Mary Cunningham Agee of the Nurturing Network. I was happy to help host an event for an organization focused on serving pregnant women in college and in the workplace."
Foster remembers meeting with Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, together with then-intern coordinator Elise Ehrhard, when Feminists for Life opened the Washington office. "We were taking on too many things, especially for an office with one staff member. They encouraged us to do one thing and do it well, as they had done, serving the mentally challenged by founding the Special Olympics." Foster and the FFL Board took the Shrivers’ strategic and thoughtful guidance to heart, and the College Outreach Program soon became FFL's flagship program.
When The American Feminist® first named Eunice Kennedy Shriver a Remarkable Pro-Life Woman,® Foster recalls, "her husband phoned the office and asked us to send over a stack of copies for his family and friends. He was delighted that we recognized her in this meaningful way." (Please see the article honoring Ms. Shriver below.)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver, a lifelong pro-life Democrat, was the sister of President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert Kennedy, and Senator Edward Kennedy. Her husband, who survives her, was former U.S. Ambassador to France and Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Sargent Shriver. They have five children (Robert, California First Lady Maria, Timothy, Mark, and Anthony) and twenty-one grandchildren.
The board and staff of Feminists for Life extends their heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Her legacy will live on in our work and especially in the work of Special Olympics.
The text from the original article honoring her follows.
* * *
WHEN EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor in 1984, then- President Ronald Reagan declared, "With enormous conviction and unrelenting effort, Eunice Kennedy Shriver has labored on behalf of America’s least powerful, those with mental retardation …. Her decency and goodness have touched the lives of many." Shriver, a longtime supporter of Feminists for Life of America, has demonstrated a lifelong concern for the "least powerful." The founder of Special Olympics International and executive vice president of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation, Shriver supports organizations that work on behalf of women and children, born and unborn.
Under Shriver’s leadership, the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development was established in 1962, and major centers for the study of medical ethics were developed at Harvard and Georgetown Universities.
When she founded Special Olympics International in 1968, 1,000 women and men with mental retardation from 26 states and Canada took part. Today, more than 1 million Special Olympics athletes participate.
As executive vice president of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation, Shriver continues to support solution-oriented programs to eradicate discrimination and problems faced by the disenfranchised. The Kennedy Foundation says its mission "is to provide leadership in the field of mental retardation and services to persons with mental retardation, both those born and unborn, and their families."
Shriver, recognizing the high rate of mental retardation among children born to teen-age mothers, led the foundation’s efforts to develop an innovative program to address the causes of problems facing teen-age women and their children. Called Community of Caring, the program focuses on "health and nutrition for the pregnant teen, preparation for childbirth, development of parental skills, and the importance of continuing in school and avoiding risk-taking behavior." Parents and community volunteers act as a mentoring network for teen-age mothers. Since its inception in 1986, more than 350 schools have adopted the Community of Caring program.

Eunice, now that you are with both your mother Rose, and your sister Rosemarie in the presence of Our Lord, aren't you proud that you never abandoned the unborn? We will miss you.
Pray for your brother Edward as he prepares to meet the the Just Judge.
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