July 7, 2015 // Local

Nigerian Bishop Okoye returns to Fort Wayne

Visiting Nigerian Bishop Jonas Okoye blessed the burial site of Bishop John M. D’Arcy, bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne for 25 years, in the crypt of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne on June 28. Bishop D’Arcy’s sisters and brother-in-law were in attendance. Shown from left are Bishop Okoye, Maureen Schott, Msgr. Robert Schulte, Hugh Sheridan (seated), and Bishop D’Arcy’s sisters, Joan Sheridan and Sister of St. Joseph Sister Anne D’Arcy.

By Kay Cozad

FORT WAYNE — Bishop Jonas Benson Okoye, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Awka in Nigeria, made a stop in Fort Wayne during his trip to the U.S. to visit priests from his homeland serving around the country and to celebrate Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception where he was in residence from 2004-2006.

Prior to celebrating Mass on Sunday, June 28, the bishop greeted friends at the cathedral. Bishop John M. D’Arcy’s sisters and brother-in-law, Sister of St. Joseph Sister Anne D’Arcy, and Joan and Hugh Sheridan traveled from Boston to meet with their friend, who was gifted with one of Bishop D’Arcy’s own episcopal staff in 2014.

The group gathered in the crypt of the cathedral where Bishop D’Arcy’s remains are entombed to witness a special blessing. They also visited the Catholic Cemetery where an honorary headstone stands.Bishop D’Arcy had requested upon his death that he be entombed in the cathedral crypt but have a headstone with his beloved priests as well.

Bishop Okoye was installed the auxiliary bishop of Awka Diocese, Nigeria, and ordained as a Consecrated Bishop on Aug. 29, 2014. While the bishop was in residence at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception he worked in the diocesan tribunal as well. Since returning to his native Nigeria he has served in parish ministry, tribunal work and as president of the Nigerian Canon Law Society.

Following Mass those in attendance gathered in the basement of the St. Mother Theodore Guerin Chapel for a reception.


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