Bishop D’Arcy says successor’s appointment ‘not too far away’
Bishop John M. D'Arcy
Bishop John M. D'Arcy

.- Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend John M. D’Arcy, announcing his approval of plans to relocate a diocesan high school, has noted that the appointment of his successor “cannot be too far away.”

His comments came in a statement posted on the diocese’s website on Wednesday. There, he discussed how the diocese had been offered property at the present location of St. Joseph Medical Center as a new location for St. Joseph’s High School.

Bishop D’Arcy said a bishop must be a “good steward” and the proposed new school building cannot be so expensive that it is built “on the backs of families.”

“Indeed, I have to keep in mind my successor, and must not place an undue burden on him. The appointment of a new bishop cannot be too far away. I have made it clear that he will need to review this decision and, indeed, it will be his obligation to do so. But I always believed that, in light of my long tenure here, I had the obligation of making a firm decision while still bishop.”

The typical retirement age of a bishop is 75. Finding a replacement for Bishop D’Arcy, who is 77 years old, is an important decision for Pope Benedict since D'Arcy's diocese encompasses the University of Notre Dame.

Expressing the diocese’s commitment to its four “excellent” high schools, he noted those involved in the decision included parents, faculty, officials at the University of Notre Dame, the Brothers of the Holy Cross and many others.

He then announced many conditions for the relocation of the school. The cost of building the new high school, $35.5 million, must be met and cash on hand must total $26.6 million by June 2011.

If conditions for the relocation are not met, he said, planning will turn to renovating the current St. Joseph High School site and building.

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