FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - Most Rev. John M. D'Arcy, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, died Sunday after a battle with lung and brain cancer.
He was 80 years old.
The diocese released a statement saying the bishop died at home surrounded by friends and family.
"We grieve the loss of our beloved Bishop D'Arcy," the diocesan announcement said. "He passed on the 56th anniversary of his first Mass as an ordained priest." (Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend's entire statement)
"Bishop D'Arcy was such a champion of the faith," Sean McBride, communications director for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, remembered. "His faith in the Lord is just incredible and remarkable." (McBride remembers Bishop D'Arcy)
Bishop Kevin Rhoades, who replaced D'Arcy in 2010, also released a statement lauding the memory of his predecessor.
"Bishop D'Arcy faced death as he also lived his life: with deep faith and trust in God," Rhoades said. "He offered his prayers and sufferings this past month for the people he loved and served with joy." (Bishop Rhoades' entire statement.)
"A lot of the younger adults remember him as the bishop who confirmed them," Msgr. Robert Schulte, diocesan vicar general and pastor of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, says. "It's the bishop they've grown up with. For them, he's been the voice of the local church here, and has helped them to understand the message of Christ." (Schulte remembers Bishop D'Arcy)
D'Arcy was born Aug. 18, 1932, and grew up in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston. His parents, Michael & Margaret D'Arcy, were Irish immigrants, who came to the United States in the 1920s. D'Arcy had three sisters.
"It's love and joy that makes me think of John," his sister, Sr. Anne D'Arcy, CSJ, said in an exclusive interview from the D'Arcy family home in Boston last month. "Mostly love of Christ. He's fallen in love with God." Like the bishop, she entered religious life as a Sister of St. Joseph.
D'Arcy was ordained a priest on Feb. 2, 1957, and was consecrated a an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston in February 1974, where he would serve until coming to Northern Indiana.
"Please pray for the repose of the soul of Bishop John D'Arcy," the Archdiocese of Boston said on its Facebook page. "May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace." (Archdiocese of Boston's post)
Cardinal Seán O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Boston, further echoed those sentiments. "The Archdiocese of Boston extends our heartfelt condolences to the Most Reverend John D'Arcy's family and the people of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend at this difficult time Remembering Bishop D'Arcy as a respected and beloved member of our local Church, we share in their loss. He was a good and compassionate priest and bishop who cared deeply for all people, particularly showing care and concern for those most in need." (Cardinal O'Malley's entire statement)
"We remember and pray for Bishop John M. D’Arcy, who served the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend," the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops posted on Facebook, linking Melissa Longs exclusive interview with the bishop just weeks ago. (USCCB statement)
D'Arcy was installed Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend on May 1, 1985, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
"It was the right diocese for me," D'Arcy said last month. "A bishop should love the church in the same love a man has for a wife. That's kind of been my ideal. It's a life of love."
Response from throughout Indiana poured in since the death of Bishop D'Arcy.
"His life was one of loving service to God’s people," Fr. John Jenkins, CSC, president of the University of Notre Dame, said. "He has shown dedicated and affectionate care for the University of Notre Dame. We remember him with gratitude and, though saddened by his passing, we believe he will be an advocate for us in the heavenly Kingdom." (University of Notre Dame's entire statement)
"He was most supportive of the university, and understood our ecumenical opportunities because of the nature of our student body," University of Saint Francis president Sr. M. Elise Kriss, OSF, said. "His contributions will be sorely missed." (Sr. Elise remembers Bishop D'Arcy)
The football stadium at USF was dedicated Bishop D'Arcy Stadium in 2001. "We will miss seeing Bishop D'Arcy on the sidelines of the stadium that bears his name this Fall," Saint Francis athletic director Mike McCaffrey tweeted (@USFADMike). "Prayers for the entire FW-SB diocese." (McCaffrey's entire tweet)
"Bishop D'Arcy was himself an academic, and as such really understood the complexities of Catholic higher education," Carol Ann Mooney, president of Saint Mary's College, remembered. "His homilies at Commencement were legendary." (Saint Mary's College's entire statement)
"Bishop D'Arcy's warmth, kindness and constant affirmations will be greatly missed," Br. John Paige, CSC, president of Holy Cross College, said. "He was a true friend of the college. He had already established himself as a friendly and familiar pastor with wom we naturally enjoyed positive and fruitful dialogue. His Commencement speeches were always notable and he never failed to publicly endorse our good work." (Holy Cross College's entire statement)
"Thank you Bishop D'Arcy for your service to our diocese," Bishop Dwenger High School posted on the school's website. (Bishop Dwenger High School's entire statement)
"Rest in Peace Bishop John D'Arcy," Bishop Luers High School tweeted (@BishopLuers). "An inspirational, great Catholic man. You will be greatly missed." (Bishop Luers High School's entire tweet)
"Marian High School community grieves the loss of our beloved shepherd," Mishawaka Marian High School said in a statement. "Many students and alumni fondly remember Bishop D'Arcy's strong support of Catholic education." (Mishawaka Marian High School's entire statement)
"We mourn the death of our friend who loved Catholic education with all his heart," South Bend Saint Joseph High School shared on its website. "We would not be where we are today without his guidance and leadership." (South Bend Saint Joseph High School's entire statement)
"Bishop Emeritus John D'Arcy was an advocate and supporter of Catholic Charities and our mission," Catholic Charities of Fort Wayne-South Bend posted on the organization's Facebook page. "He will remain forever in our hearts and prayers." (Catholic Charities of Fort Wayne-South Bend's post)
"As members of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, my family and I have long looked to Bishop D'Arcy for spiritual guidance," U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., reflects. "Bishop D'Arcy was a strong voice for not only the Catholic faith, but a voice for the hungry, the poor, and the disadvantaged. He made all of us better persons."
"His courageous leadership will be greatly missed," Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind., said. "I send my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of a great Hoosier church leader."
"Bishop D'Arcy was not only the most pastoral bishop I have ever met, but he also was a good friend," State Sen. Tom Wyss, R-Fort Wayne, said. "The impact he has left on Fort Wayne will be felt for years to come."
"Bishop D’Arcy was a man of tremendous faith with a true servant's heart," the Allen County Commissioners said in a joint statement. "With his passing, our community has lost a tremendous leader."
"He was a strong supporter of the Catholic press and its role in the Church," Greg Erlandson, president and publisher of Our Sunday Visitor magazine, said. "We will remember him as a dedicated, generous priest and bishop who loved his people and was wholly committed to their service." D'Arcy served chairman of the board of directors for OSV until his retirement in 2010. (Our Sunday Visitor's entire statement)
D'Arcy was diagnosed with brain and lung cancer while visiting family over Christmas. He returned to Fort Wayne last week following treatment in Boston.
D'Arcy was previously diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011. He would eventually beat that disease.
Funeral liturgies are set for Wed., Feb. 6 through Fri., Feb 8. Visitation will be held all day Thursday and 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Wed., Feb. 6:
10 a.m.: Reception of the body and Morning Prayer at St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend
5 p.m.: Prayer of the Rosary
7 p.m.: Mass of Transferral celebrated by Bishop Kevin Rhoades
Thurs., Feb. 7
10 a.m. Reception of the body and Morning Prayer at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
5 p.m.: Prayer of the Rosary
7 p.m.: Evening Prayer
Fri., Feb. 8
Noon: Funeral Mass (immediately followed by a reception at the Grand Wayne Center)
Click here to watch the live streaming.
Bishop D'Arcy will be buried in a private ceremony in the crypt of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Bishop John Luers, Bishop Joseph Dwenger, Bishop Joseph Rademacher and Bishop Herman Alerding are also buried at the Cathedral crypt. (Entire schedule of liturgies)
Click on the video icon to see the entire half hour special dedicated to Bishop D'Arcy.
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