Among the many friends Eunice Kennedy Shriver made throughout her illustrious life was Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement.
Daughter Maria Shriver said in her eulogy during her mother’s funeral Aug. 14 that Shriver considered Day a personal hero, along with Mary, Mother Teresa and her own mother, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, and her sister Rosemary.
“She (Shriver) is reading my books,” Day wrote April 15, 1976. “Bedside books, she calls them. She is not happy. ‘Do you believe in heaven and hell?’ she asked me. ‘Why?’”
In an entry dated Oct. 30, 1979, Day told about another call from Shriver in which she said her brother, Sen. Edward Kennedy, would announce a run for the White House in nine days.
Several years earlier, July 14, 1975, Day described another call from Shriver in which she said her husband, Sargent, was planning to seek the presidency. Shriver asked Day to sign on as a supporter. Day was a bit flabbergasted. “I am an anarchist,” she wrote. “But ‘pray for him.’ I like her. He is a daily communicant.”
The diary excerpts can be found in “The Duty of Delight: The Diaries of Dorothy Day” edited by Robert Ellsberg and published in 2008 by Marquette University Press.