Fort Wayne’s two Catholic high schools were closed today so students and staff could attend the funeral mass of Bishop Emeritus John D’Arcy.
D’Arcy was the Bishop of the Fort Wayne/ South Bend Diocese for 24 years before his retirement in 2010.
He passed away last Sunday morning at the age of 80.
D’Arcy’s funeral mass was held this afternoon at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
“He was genuinely interested in every person he met,” said Mngr. Michael Heintz, Rector of St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend who delivered today’s homily. “He had an incredible memory for detail and a command of names. He started every Diocesan meeting with the same three words, ‘Sorry I’m late.’”
When D’Arcy first fell ill, he was in Boston and some thought he might stay there—where he was born and raised.
“As much as he dearly loved Brighton, his dear sisters, Anne and Joan, his beloved nephews and his niece, his back porch and his Red Sox, this was now his home. He knew that he was dying and he wanted to come home to die in the arms of his spouse. Here in Fort Wayne with and among the people for whom he had laid down his life,” said Msgr. Heintz.
More than a thousand of those people attended today’s mass to say goodbye and to remember the bishop’s talkative time here on Earth.
“He was the last to leave any gathering or reception, the last car to wheel out of a parking lot at any event was a black Chrysler,” said Msgr. Michael Heintz.
While Bishop D’Arcy retired in 2010, he remained active in the church.
“I wish to conclude with words that Bishop D’Arcy would often say at the end of a funeral homily,” said Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades. “Safe home, John, safe home.”
The bishop’s burial was a private affair at the Crypt of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.