Amidst political rancor it is refreshing to read Mark Shriver’s A Good Man, about his father Sargent Shriver, founding head of the Peace Corps. Sarge was unapologetically Catholic without wearing religion on his sleeve. He rooted his life in prayer and attended Mass daily.
His marriage to Eunice Kennedy made him part of the Kennedy clan, where at times philandering seemed to signify the good life. Yet no hint of scandal touched Sarge. And at his funeral after hearing more than one person speak of Sarge as “a good man,” the scandal plagued Bill Clinton looked down on the coffin and said, “Every other man in this church feels about two inches tall right now.”
Sarge reflected a grace-filled life and maintained a contemplative vision. He saw God in a sunrise, in his wife, and in his children and grandchildren. In the glitz of Kennedy campaigns, he was the calming presence. In the devastation after the assassination of President Kennedy, he was the man behind the funeral that made a mourning country one nation under God.
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