Please accept my deepest sympathy on the death of your father. He left a mark on American society that will be felt for a very long time, and we Knights are grateful for the privilege of having been able to call him our brother.
Enclosed is a copy of the statement I issued today, which has also has been posted prominently on the Knights of Columbus website. Please also know that a memorial Mass will be offered for your father in the Holy Family Chapel here at the Supreme Council headquarters in New Haven.
Please convey our sympathy and warmest regards to your family as well.
Carl A. Anderson
Sargent Shriver "personified Catholic public service"
Sargent Shriver, who died yesterday at the age of 95, was "a man who personified the ideal of Catholic public service," Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said. "Most people know him as the founder of the Peace Corps, which has provided an avenue through which tens of thousands of Americans have served people in need in poor countries throughout the world over the past five decades. That project, undertaken at the behest of his brother-in-law, President John Kennedy, asked people to accept risks and make sacrifices in order to serve others. It was emblematic of Sargent Shriver's entire life."
"He served his community in Chicago in many ways - as president of the Chicago Board of Education before coming to Washington, and later, as co-founder with his wife Eunice of the Special Olympics, which has benefited countless numbers of intellectually handicapped people in America and around the world," Anderson continued. "The Knights of Columbus were proud to help him launch the very first Special Olympics event in Chicago in 1969, and we continue this work with his son Tim Shriver, who guides the organization today."
"Like President Kennedy, Sargent Shriver was a long-time member of the Knights of Columbus, and we have always been proud to call him a brother Knight," Anderson said. "He embodied the values of Catholic social teaching: a love for the innate dignity of every human person, and a determination to help improve the lot of those who suffered. Sargent Shriver was a genuine Catholic gentleman, filled with faith, and a dedicated, loving husband and father to his five children. He lived a long and exceptionally productive life, and set an example for Knights everywhere."
"Sargent Shriver has gone to his eternal reward just two days before the 50th anniversary of his brother-in-law's memorable inaugural address, in which he invited Americans to ask what they could do for their country: a call to public service, a plea that we join together to 'assure a more fruitful life for all mankind,' and to banish 'the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war.' And he urged that we do so 'asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.' Sargent Shriver and John Kennedy both deeply believed those words, and so do we. And we will seek to accomplish those goals in their honor," Anderson concluded.