Bishop Emeritus John M. D'Arcy of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend is battling a "very rare" and "quick striking" form of cancer, he said in a statement released this morning by the diocese.
The update was provided by D'Arcy to diocesan employees, friends and loved ones on Wednesday.
D'Arcy said the new cancer "came as a surprise, 'like a thief in the night' as the Scripture says. I am now undergoing 15 days of radiation, which is palliative and has eased many symptoms. After that, there will be some consideration of chemotherapy. The doctors here are in close communications with my doctor in Fort Wayne.
"Now, most importantly, I ask everyone for your prayers," D'Arcy said. "Pray that I will accept this and whatever is to come with a full heart and a full 'Yes' to God.
"I am grateful to God for the extraordinary life He has given me and the graces He has poured out on me. I thank God for my family and that I was born in the Catholic faith, which has always defended and defends in these troubled times the dignity of life and of the human person and the nature, which God has given us.
"Over everything, I am grateful for the gifts of the Holy Priesthood," D'Arcy added. "I never felt worthy of it. I thank God with all my heart that I was appointed by Christ through the Church as shepherd of our beloved diocese."
"Above everything, pray for me and for my soul and that I will be found worthy to enter into the heavenly place that God has prepared for all of us, where I hope to meet my dear parents and so many loved ones," he asked.
Just after the New Year, the diocese released a statement from D'Arcy saying that, while he was visiting in his hometown of Boston at the holidays, he felt ill shortly after Christmas and was taken to the hospital Dec. 30, where he was diagnosed with cancer in the lung and brain.
D'Arcy stepped down as the head of the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese in November 2009, after serving for 24 years. He was the eighth bishop for the diocese.
D'Arcy was replaced by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, who had been bishop in Harrisburg, Pa.