FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Hundreds of people gathered in Fort Wayne Thursday to remember and honor Bishop John D'Arcy He lost his battle with cancer Sunday.
Thursday's services started with a morning prayer service at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
D'Arcy was Bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese for 25 years from 1985 to 2010. He was ordained as a priest in 1957 and ordained as a bishop in 1975 in Boston.
Bishop D'Arcy led the Diocese with strong faith and compassion, which are the messages people remember.
"They saw him as truly a good shepherd after the heart of Christ. He poured his heart out for his people. He loved this Diocese. They'll remember his kindness, firmness of his faith, his courage and his love," Bishop Kevin Rhoades, said.
Rhoades became the Bishop for the Diocese after D'Arcy in 2010.
"He was like a father figure to me. His wisdom was greatly appreciated and his council and advice," Rhoades said.
Rhoades remembered sharing a love of baseball with D'Arcy.
"He's a big Boston Red Sox fan and I'm a New York Yankees fan. We had a continued rivalry and had a lot of laughs," Rhoades said with a smile.
But, he said he'll also always keep memories of his last mass with D'Arcy close to his heart. Rhoades went to D'Arcy's house on January 28 for the mass. D'Arcy was in a wheelchair.
"In the middle of my homily, he started to share his reflections on the word of God and it touched me very deeply," Rhoades said.
Football captains from Bishop Luers and Bishop Dwenger served as pallbearers for Thursday's service. Rhoades said that illustrates Bishop D'Arcy's influence on young people.
"It was an incredible honor," Ben Evans, 18, a senior at Bishop Dwenger who was one of the pallbearers, said. "D'Arcy was a great man. He did so much for our Diocese and our school. He always preached about simple faith and [I remember] how that helped me grow in my Catholic faith."
Bishop D'Arcy confirmed Sam Anderson, 18, who is also a senior at Bishop Dwenger.
"We took a picture after that and when I see it, I see his smile and all my memories are of his smile and his cheerfulness. He really made an effort to visit all the parishes and grade schools," Anderson said.
D'Arcy's strong faith and acceptance reached beyond the Catholic church.
"There was no contradiction in his sociology and I respect him for that," Rev. Bill McGill said. "He always embraced people of other faiths and ethnic groups. He really was Bishop to this entire community."
McGill is a pastor at a Baptist church, but chuckled as he recalled how Bishop D'Arcy never held that against him.
"And, he said I'm an honorary Irishman because my last name is McGill," Rev. McGill laughed.
Ellen Langford, a mother of six, also had a smile on her face as she remembered Bishop D'Arcy.
"He had a warm personality. Everyone liked him right way. He's a baseball fan and a lot of people connected with him," Langford said.
Langford is also from Boston, so she loved hearing D'Arcy's accent and shared his love for the Boston Red Sox. But, she also remembered D'Arcy's example of living his faith.
"Bishop D'Arcy was such a giver. He gave so much of himself. You see so many people here as testimony of his life and what it means to follow Christ and God and give of yourself," Langford said.
She also hopes her children remember D'Arcy's message.
"Always do what God wants them to do," she said.
Visitation continues Friday from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The funeral services will follow at noon. Bishop Rhoades expects standing room only in the funeral, but NewsChannel 15 will stream the entire service live on wane.com.
The Allen County Sheriff's Department arrested two people for having and making meth on Monday and Wednesday.
People across Indiana are bundling up against colder temperatures than parts of the state saw in either of the past two winters.
Tesla has opened two charging stations in northern Indiana, one of them at a hotel in Angola, as it works to establish a network of such stops across the country for its electric cars.
Members of an Indiana National Guard unit marched behind Santa Claus as they arrived at a ceremony welcoming them home after a 10-month deployment to Afghanistan.
Fort Wayne police are looking for a man who is suspected of robbing a local bar early Thursday morning.
Volunteer fire departments are monitoring what the Affordable Care Act could mean to them. Departments nationwide, and locally, are afraid they won't have the funds to pay for health benefits if they're required to due to the new health law.
The property manager at a Geneva apartment complex says a bed bug infestation has been all cleaned up, while some timid tenants and an outspoken protestor beg to differ.
The Hoosier Park horse track is looking to pull in more gamblers to its Fort Wayne off-track betting parlor. Leaders are strongly looking at New Haven for its new location.
Fourth and sixth graders at Leo Elementary School were given a survey intended to improve student life. Parents were not notified of the survey ahead of time, and said some questions were an invasion of privacy and home life.
The deaf community in South Africa says an interpreter for Nelson Mandela's memorial was a fake. A revelation that has caused an uproar worldwide.
Police arrested a man after he apparently sent threatening letters to a woman and to himself to throw police off track. Officials said he also set his own truck on fire.
The program provides free cab rides home to impaired drivers during the holiday season until January 1.
Police arrested two people after they went on a shopping spree using credit cards that were stolen from a woman at gunpoint in her parent’s driveway. Police were able to arrest the suspects within hours because the credit card companies told the victim where her cards were being used.
O'Donnell will be performing country music, inspirational ballads, pop hits and Irish standards at the Embassy Theatre, Tuesday, June 10, 2014, at 7 p.m.
Check out the photos viewers sent NewsChannel 15 of the snowfall on Wednesday.