WASHINGTON (November 8, 2001) -- Bishop John M. D'Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, will receive the Campus Ministry Exemplary Bishop award November 14, during the annual fall meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington.
The annual award is presented by the Catholic Campus Ministry Association, the National Catholic Student Coalition and the National Association of Diocesan Directors of Campus Ministry.
Bishop D'Arcy has been a long-time supporter of campus ministry. As Auxiliary Bishop of Boston, a position he held from 1975-1985, Bishop D'Arcy oversaw the restructuring of the archdiocese's campus ministry office. When he became Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend in 1985, he expanded the campus ministry efforts there.
Linda Furge, Campus Ministry Diocesan Director for the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese, noted Bishop D'Arcy's commitment to university students.
When Bishop D'Arcy became bishop of the Fort Wayne/South Bend Diocese, Ms. Furge said, "campus ministry throughout the diocese consisted of one roving priest, who split his time between the two large state campuses in Fort Wayne and South Bend. There was no campus ministry at any of the smaller secular or religiously denominated campuses.
"Following an immediate diocesan-wide evaluation, the Office of Campus and Young Adult Ministry was established with responsibility for ministry at eight secular and religiously affiliated colleges in our diocese. The number of Catholics at some of the smaller religiously-affiliated colleges is small - often as little as 30 to 50. Bishop D'Arcy is absolutely steadfast in his determination that there be a regular and professional Catholic presence at each of these institutions, even with such small numbers.... He understands that 'Catholic presence' is not limited to just the Catholic students, but also to the faculty, staff and administration of the college and as a Catholic presence to the institution itself."
She spoke of his commitment to the annual young adult retreat.
"Each year he participates in most of the retreat and especially relishes the 'Chat With the Bishop' - his one-on-one time with the retreat participants," she said. "He always stays up late for confessions on Saturday and celebrates Eucharist with them on Sunday. Not only is he present, but he makes himself available to anyone and everyone for spiritual direction, questions, or simply conversation."
"His concern for the needs of college students and young adults is vocal and strong. We are always encouraged to do more, to expand our programming, she added.