Bishop Rhoades remembers Bishop Emeritus D'Arcy

The former leader of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese left a strong impression on the thousands of people he met, including his successor.

Bishop Kevin Rhoades has only known former Bishop John M. D'Arcy for the past three years, but says the church leader became a close mentor.

"I'm going to miss him personally very much," Bishop Rhoades said "He'd give me wise counsel and he really was a friend. And, just a great example of holiness."

D'Arcy was known for his extensive knowledge of the diocese's history and his dedication to the people of Northern Indiana.

Rhoades says that's what made him such a wonderful leader.

"The whole idea of the Bishop as the church's spouse, well I've never seen that lived in a way like Bishop D'Arcy lived that," Bishop Rhoades said. "The church was his bride, so he gave it everything."

D'Arcy made it a point to visit South Bend churches and schools several times a year to lead mass.

And, he wasn't afraid to weigh in on controversial topics.

"I think he was a courageous bishop," said Bishop Rhoades. "He wasn't afraid to preach and speak the truth, even if it wasn't going to be popular. If he made a decision, he made it based on what is right. He would discern, OK, what is the right thing to do here?"

D'Arcy died on the 56th anniversary weekend of his first mass as a priest, which Bishop Rhoades says is exactly what he wanted.

On Wednesday, his body will be received at St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend for morning prayer, with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing throughout the day.

The Rosary will begin at 5 p.m. and Bishop Rhoades will say mass at 7 o'clock.

On Friday the visitation will continue from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in Fort Wayne at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Then Bishop D'Arcy's Funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon.

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