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.
Police said a man barricaded himself inside of a home on Genessee Avenue early Sunday morning for more than two hours after threatening to commit suicide.
Detectives believe a three-year-old boy may have shot himself at a home in Indianapolis Saturday night. Police said the shooting appears to have been accidental.
There will be several holiday-themed events this weekend in the Fort Wayne area, including Christmas displays, children’s parties, visits from Santa Claus, and more.
A man is in critical condition after a stabbing early Sunday morning in Bluebird Court, off of St. Joe Road.
The 122nd Fighter Wing hosted the annual Airman of the Year Awards on Saturday afternoon to celebrate the achievements of members of the 122nd.
Saturday marked the 72nd anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. Fort Wayne area veterans and their families met for a service at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum to remember those who lost their lives back on December 7, 1941.
A doctor who performs abortions in Fort Wayne, Gary and South Bend has been asked to appear before the Indiana Medical Licensing Board.
Each year, students at Taylor University attend a men's basketball game and are completely silent until the Trojans score their 10th point of the game. The game is known as "Silent Night."
Governor Mike Pence is directing flags at Indiana state facilities be flown at half-staff on Saturday, Dec. 7 in honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
A national campaign wants the NFL's Washington Redskins to change its name to not be offensive to Native Americans, and it could effect teams across the country.
The Lilly Endowment Inc. has given more than $62 million to 39 Indiana colleges and universities to increase employment opportunities for college graduates. receive
A two-car crash tied up traffic for a short time on Illinois Road at the entrance to Jefferson Pointe.
It's been a year since FBI agents and police raided several homes in Fort Wayne. The center of the investigation was Michael Fabini's home.
Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are not toxic to humans or pets. Some mild side effects are possible if they are eaten.
A Fort Wayne man had the opportunity to have lunch with Nelson Mandela 20 years ago. He says the experience is something he has carried with him throughout the years.