By SHEILA SELMAN
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Being bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese was more than just a job to John Michael D’Arcy. It was his vocation — one he embraced and loved.
St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church’s Father Fernando Jimenez explained, “He put in all his mind and heart in his vocation.”
Jimenez knew, worked with and deeply respected Bishop D’Arcy, who died Sunday. At his death, D’Arcy was bishop emeritus, having retired in 2009.
“The last time Bishop D’Arcy was here was almost three years ago,” Jimenez said. D’Arcy confirmed the class of 2011. St. John’s held a Mass and a celebration. D’Arcy knew about the cancer that would eventually claim his life, and the local church did, too. So after that confirmation, the whole community offered him prayers in the form of Masses, rosaries, Holy Hours and dedicating their work time to God.
“He knew that in the same way that he loved us, we loved him, too,” Jimenez said.
In describing Bishop D’Arcy, Jimenez said, “He was a true Christian, a good gentleman, was always polite and a good listener.” Jimenez later added, “he was always a man of strong faith and fervent prayer. He was a very humble man who made himself always available to anyone who approached him.”
Jimenez got to know Bishop D’Arcy in seminary. He would monitor the priests in training during their years in seminary and would meet with them at least twice a year.
“At the end of my training in seminary,” Jimenez said, “he was the one who ordained me. We were the last class he ordained as a priest.”
In the years that followed, Jimenez said, “It totally amazed me to see he knew the needs of his people, especially immigrants, and he was concerned about them. He always made sure the people knew … that he was there to serve them.”
That humble attitude of service is why Jimenez believes D’Arcy was a treasure for the whole church.
“He left a print of faith on Earth,” Jimenez said. “He was always taking care of the people, and was concerned with the welfare of everyone in the diocese.”
The schedule of funeral liturgies for Bishop D’Arcy will be as follows:
• Today — A reception of the body and morning prayer at St. Matthew Cathedral in 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 — Reception of the body and morning prayer at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in 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 — Visitation will take place from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Fort Wayne. The funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. A reception for the public 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.
• Feb. 16 — A bilingual Mass celebration will take place at 8 a.m., led by Father Anthony Tony Steinacker and Father Fernando Jimenez, both of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Goshen.