Hundreds pay respects to Bishop D'Arcy at St Matthew Cathedral

Wednesday hundreds of area Catholics are paying their respects to Bishop Emeritus John Michael D'Arcy.

Bishop D'Arcy led the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend for 25-years, focusing on educating children and upholding core catholic values.

Wednesday parishioners from Michiana had a chance to say goodbye before Bishop D'Arcy's body is moved to Fort Wayne for his formal funeral mass and burial on Friday.

Wednesday morning hundreds already poured into St.Matthew Cathedral and hundreds more packed pews later that night.

It could be said that if Bishop Emeritus D'Arcy suffered through his final days, Wednesday morning was all about celebrating his 80 years.

Around two hundred parishioners filled the cathedral in South Bend to receive the bishop's body.

Some took-off work while others were dismissed from class, like Valerie Dalton a sophomore from St. Joseph High School.

"He did so much for our community. It's good to do something for him, like honor him in a way. So it's just kind of a thank you," she says.

Each person clung onto a chapter in the bishop's biography like Megan Swaim.

She says she remembers him as a caring man and was with him during his last days, "He wanted to know people. He wanted to know their stories. He remembered people and their stories. So there was this generosity in him that was apparent to everyone."

Singing in choir during high school, Swaim says she instantly connected with Bishop D'Arcy. He confirmed her, marched in Washington D.C with her, and in November performed her wedding, which would be his last.

“He was there to celebrate with us in Fort Wayne, at the cathedral there on Nov. 30th, which was just a few weeks before he went to Boston and received his diagnosis," she says.

Swaim and her husband, Josh, were honeymooning in Rome when they learned the news and turned to prayer.

She says, "I think I'll remember his ornery smile. I'll remember the kindness in his eyes but I think especially I'll always remember what he looked like on our wedding as he hugged us and congratulated us, as he listened to us say our vows. I think my wedding day will be the single greatest memory of the Bishop and I will carry it with me forever."

Wednesday night, St. Matthew held a mass of transferal, celebrated by Bishop Kevin Rhoades.

So many people showed up, parking was hard to come by.

At noon on Friday a formal funeral mass will take place at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne.

The Rite of Committal will be conducted privately later that day.


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