One thing that was obvious was that Bishop D'Arcy was still Fr. D'Arcy. He had a strong sense of what it meant to be a bishop. He said on more than one occasion to me that a bishop has always to remember that he has been given "episcopal grace" and that he should not be afraid to make hard decisions and live with them. But, he also had a great love and awe of "priestly grace." He loved being a priest.
It was also a particularly graced moment for me. I had been hearing about Fr. D'Arcy for years. It was a blessing for me to spend those few days with him and watch him once again shepherd the flock of his youth. At one particular moment during those days, Bishop D'Arcy told me that he was going to go in the church for a few minutes to pray. Since I was supposed to be seeing him off someplace, I didn't want to miss him. So, every so often I would go and make certain that I hadn't missed him. He sat in the church for well over an hour. Afterwards, he told me that he had sat in that very same spot fifty years ago when he was asked to leave the parish to go to Rome to study. Bishop D'Arcy was a man of prayer.
St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish in Beverly was the only parish to which Bishop D'Arcy was ever assigned. As such, the people here feel a particular bond to him and they mourn his loss. But, his beautiful priestly example provides comfort to all of those who mourn today. Bishop D'Arcy's whole life exemplified to others what he himself chose for his episcopal motto: "His Steadfast Love Endures Forever." To those who have no faith, death appears to bring an end to everything. But Bishop John D'Arcy knew otherwise. He now enters more completely into the Trinitarian Communion and by God's mercy will eternally sing, "His Steadfast Love Endures Forever."