Friday, March 11, 2011

The Presence of Christ Among Us

Our parish is eagerly awaiting our Lenten Mission led by Bishop John M. D’Arcy (retired) of the Fort Wayne–South Bend diocese. The mission will take place Monday–Wednesday, March 14–16, at 7 p.m. at St. Mary Star of the Sea in Beverly, Massachusetts. For weeks, committees have been preparing: publicity, liturgy, hospitality, transportation . . . even babysitting! The theme of the mission is “Christ: Yesterday, Today, Forever.” Now, on the first Friday of Lent, just three days from the start of the mission, the reality of Christ’s Presence among us is something I am sure many of us feel quite concretely.

Bishop John M. D’Arcy was born August 18, 1932 in Brighton. He was the son of Irish immigrants. He entered St. John’s Seminary in Brighton on September of 1949 to begin his preparation for the priesthood and was ordained in Boston on February 2, 1957.

Bishop D’Arcy spent 8 years at St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish, Beverly. St. Mary’s is the only parish that Bishop D’Arcy was associated with.

Bishop D’Arcy left St. Mary Star of the Sea in 1965 for Rome. He received his Doctorate in Spiritual Theology from the Angelicum in Rome in 1968. He then returned to Massachusetts and was ordained as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston on February 14, 1975. He also served as Spiritual Director and Professor of Spiritual theology at Saint John’s Seminary from 1968 through 1985.

He was installed as the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana on May 1, 1985. Bishop D’Arcy, following the requirement of canon law, offered his resignation after turning 75.

St. Mary Star of the Sea was blessed to have Bishop D’Arcy celebrate Mass during the year that he celebrated his Golden Jubilee. He stood in the beautiful church garden and greeted many beloved parishioners who remembered him fondly from his  years as a young priest at St. Mary’s.

Our parish is again blessed to have Bishop D’Arcy return to be with us during our Parish Mission. He will be appropriately honored at St. Mary School Legacy Gala on Sunday afternoon. His schedule during the week is presented in this newsletter. We invite you to deepen your faith life by coming to the evening services by Bishop John D’Arcy. We thank God for his presence in our parish and welcome him home.

Our pastor, Father David Barnes, invited Bishop D’Arcy to offer this mission many months ago. After accepting the invitation, the bishop was diagnosed with cancer, and he has been undergoing radiation treatments for several weeks now. We were moved to learn that he asked his doctor’s permission to stop treatments temporarily so that he could be with us for the mission.

Welcome, Bishop D’Arcy!

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