He was one of the quietest members of the Kennedy clan. And perhaps the truest to Catholic values in his public service.

Fr. Raymond de Souza pays tribute.

Robert Sargent Shriver lived his life as God intended. He was a devout Catholic, often at daily Mass and never without his rosary. A faithful husband and devoted father, he applied his considerable talent and influence on behalf of the weak and the poor. He knew the glamour of the spotlight, but worked for those in the shadows.

Shriver was the most outstanding statesman in a tradition that has almost entirely disappeared — the principled Catholic man of the left.

He was one of the great pro-life Democrats who remained so throughout his life of devotion to his faith and his fellow man, especially ‘the least of these.’

…Cardinal [Sean] O’Malley described him as a “champion” for millions of people and as a man dedicated to his family and public service.

“He changed the world for the better. His commitment to preserving and protecting human life at every stage of existence, especially for the unborn, and working to lift people out of poverty were exceptional gifts of love and humanity,” the cardinal continued.

Being in the Kennedy family provided a great share of trials and opportunities. He turned both to great advantage.

Shriver and his wife were signatories to a full-page July 1992 New York Times advertisement protesting the Democratic Party’s embrace of abortion politics.

Titled “The New American Compact,” the ad denounced abortion as a drastic reversal of American progress towards liberty and justice for all. It declared the pro-abortion Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade to be “the most momentous act of exclusion in our history” which deprived every unborn human being of the “most fundamental” human right to life.

The ad also called for support for policies that help both mother and child, saying “We can choose to extend once again the mantle of protection to all members of the human family, including the unborn.”

If such choices are made, the signatories predicted, “America will experience a new birth of freedom, bringing with it a renewed spirit of community, compassion, and caring.”

Reviving that cause would be a great and worthy legacy.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....