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Former bishop passes away at 80

Observer Staff Report | Monday, February 4, 2013

Fr. John M. D’Arcy, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, died Sunday after a battle with lung and brain cancer. He was 80.

D’Arcy passed away on the 56th anniversary of his first Mass as an ordained priest, according to a statement from the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

In a press release, University President Fr. John Jenkins said D’Arcy’s life “was one of loving service to God’s people as a pastor.”

“Since he became the bishop of this diocese in 1985, he has shown dedicated and affectionate care for Notre Dame,” Jenkins said. “We remember him with gratitude and, though saddened by his passing, we believe he will be an advocate for us in the heavenly Kingdom.”

Current Bishop Kevin Rhoades, D’Arcy’s successor, also expressed his condolences in a statement released Sunday.

“I am filled with deep sadness at the death of a dear friend and brother bishop,” Rhoades said. “We mourn the death of a good shepherd after the heart of Christ, a bishop who loved the Lord and his people with all his heart.”

In 2009, D’Arcy boycotted the University’s Commencement Ceremony where President Barack Obama was to deliver the Commencement Address and receive an honorary degree, due to Obama’s pro-choice policy. In a statement released by the diocese at the time, D’Arcy said he would not attend the event because “a bishop must teach the Catholic faith ‘in season and out of season,’ and he teaches not only by his words – but by his actions.”

D’Arcy was ordained a priest on Feb. 2, 1957 and installed bishop of the diocese on May 1, 1985. He stepped down from his office in 2009.

Funeral services for Bishop D’Arcy have not yet been set, according to the diocese.