Dear Mr. Shriver,
Please accept my sincere sympathy at the loss of your wife Eunice Kennedy Shriver and my pledge of prayers that God will give her a place in his kingdom of eternal light and love. Eunice, guided by her strong and abiding faith, dedicated her life to serving some of the most vulnerable among us. She recognized the individual dignity and worth of each person and she called upon others to do the same. Her example and dedication are a legacy she leaves to all of us. In a particular way, we recall her deep commitment to individuals with developmental disabilities.
Here in the Archdiocese of Washington, we are particularly grateful for her active support of the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute, a program founded 50 years ago by the Archdiocese of Washington with the Kennedy Foundation and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur to educate developmentally disabled youth and adults. Your wife was a very active supporter of the Kennedy Institute, even volunteering as a physical education instructor in the mid-1960's. She was instrumental in obtaining the funding to establish a model inclusion program for students at Our Lady of Mercy School in Potomac.
As you know, in the 1990s I had the privilege of working with Eunice in the development of what became a nationally recognized education program for young people with disabilities. I cherish that time together and the witness of her commitment to children with special needs, particularly as they grew stronger in their faith life.
May prayers are with you, your children and grandchildren and the entire Kennedy family at this difficult time. May God grant Eunice eternal rest.
Faithfully in Christ,
Archbishop of Washington
Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl was installed in June 2006 as the sixth Archbishop of Washington, which includes the District of Columbia and five Maryland counties. He is known nationally for his catechetical and teaching ministry and for his efforts on behalf of Catholic education.