Bishop John M. D’Arcy dies at 80
FORT WAYNE — Bishop John M. D’Arcy, who served as the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend from May 1, 1985 through Jan. 13, 2010, died at his home in Fort Wayne on the morning of Feb. 3. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in late December while visiting his family in Boston. He returned to Fort Wayne in January for care.
Since his retirement in 2010, Bishop D’Arcy has served as bishop-emeritus. He has assisted at parishes, conferred the sacrament of Confirmation, and enjoyed providing retreats and missions and assisting as chaplain of Bishop Luers High School.
The son of Irish immigrants, Bishop D’Arcy was born Aug. 18, 1932. He began preparation for the priesthood in September of 1949 at Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton, Mass. He was ordained to the priesthood on Feb. 2, 1957 for the Archdiocese of Boston. He studied in Rome at the Angelicum from 1965 to 1968 and received his doctorate in spiritual theology in 1968. He served as spiritual director and professor of spiritual theology at Saint John’s Seminary from 1968 to 1985.
Bishop D’Arcy was ordained an auxiliary bishop of Boston on Feb. 11, 1975 and was appointed Vicar for Spiritual Development for the archdiocese at the same time. He continued to serve as a spiritual director at Saint John’s Seminary. Bishop D’Arcy directed the Office of Spiritual Development, which was established by the late Humberto Cardinal Medeiros in 1975.
On July 21, 1981, Bishop D’Arcy was appointed regional bishop for the northern area of the Archdiocese of Boston, known as the Lowell Region. Bishop D’Arcy continued as Vicar for Spiritual Development and continued to direct the archdiocesan Office of Spiritual Development.
On Feb. 26, 1985, Bishop D’Arcy was appointed eighth Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend and was installed on May 1, 1985.
Bishop D’Arcy has established many significant diocesan initiatives in the areas of spirituality, catechesis, education, ecumenism and social services outreach as follows:
• Women’s Care Center, Fort Wayne, organized and operational in renovated facility
• Vincent House for homeless founded — has grown from single home to encompass homes in central city to foster independence of families served
• Annual Bishop’s Appeal organized — 21st appeal in 2007 was considered most successful endeavor of its kind in nation, moneys support parish and diocesan projects
• A $3.6 million renovation/restoration of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Fort Wayne, 1998
• Initiated Eucharistic Congress at University of Notre Dame, 2000
• Legacy of Faith capital campaign, 2004-2005 — creating endowments of more than $48.5 million for construction of new Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and Diocesan Shrine, and related Hispanic ministries, Warsaw; Catholic Charities services to the poor; schools’ endowment fund; and improved retirement program for priests
• Initiated live Sunday television Masses, Fort Wayne and South Bend, 1986
• Wrote major article on relationship between Catholic universities and bishops —especially relating to the requirements of the mandatum for Catholic theologians
• Undertook ecumenical dialogues with Methodist, Evangelical Lutheran and Jewish leaders.
In the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Bishop D’Arcy established the Office of Spiritual Development, the Office for Hispanic Ministry and the Office of Catechesis. He called for an expansion of campus ministry/young adult programming and initiated annual youth and young adult retreats and retreats for disabled. He established diocesan office buildings in both South Bend and downtown Fort Wayne. Bishop D’Arcy established the position of archivist to preserve diocesan and parish history as well as documents. He made an independent status for diocesan newspaper, Today’s Catholic. With the help of Our Sunday Visitor Institute, Bishop D’Arcy commissioned a history of diocese called “Worthy of the Gospel of Christ.”
Several building projects took place under Bishop D’Arcy’s leadership. New church projects included St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Fort Wayne, 1989; St. Pius, Granger, 1989; Blessed Sacrament, Albion, 1990; St. Mary, Fort Wayne, following destruction of church by fire, 1996 (established St. Mary’s Heritage Fund to assist parishes/programs in need); Holy Family, South Bend, 1997; St. Vincent de Paul, Fort Wayne, 1998; St. Therese, Fort Wayne, 1999; and Our Lady of Guadalupe, Warsaw, 1999. Under his leadership, several schools and parishes renovated and expanded across the diocese. All four diocesan high schools held capital campaigns to improve their facilities.
Bishop D’Arcy is survived by two sisters: Sister Anne D’Arcy, a Sister of St. Joseph; and Joan (and Hugh) Sheridan. He is also survived by several nephews, one niece, grandnieces and grandnephews and brother-in-law Vito Caprio. He was preceded in death by his parents, Margaret Moran-D’Arcy and Michael John and sister, Mary Caprio.
Today’s Catholic will honor Bishop D’Arcy with a special tribute section in the Feb. 17 issue of the newspaper.
Schedule of Funeral Liturgies for Bishop D’Arcy
Wednesday February 6th, 2013
Reception of the body and Morning Prayer at St. Matthew Cathedral, South Bend, will begin at 10 a.m. Visitation will be held throughout the day. Rosary will begin at 5 p.m. A Mass of Transferral celebrated by Bishop Kevin Rhoades will begin at 7 p.m.
Thursday February 7th, 2013
Reception of the body and Morning Prayer at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Fort Wayne, will begin at 10 a.m., with visitation throughout the day. Rosary will begin at 5 p.m. Evening Prayer is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Friday February 8th, 2013
Visitation of the body will take place from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Fort Wayne
The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 12:00 noon at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Fort Wayne. A reception for all will immediately follow at the Grand Wayne Center.
The Rite of Committal will be conducted privately with the family in the crypt of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
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St. Matthew Cathedral
1701 Miami St.
South Bend, IN 46613
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
1122 S. Clinton St.
Ft.Wayne, IN 46802
Cards of condolence may be sent to:
PO Box 390
Fort Wayne, IN 46801
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