Grenada and in particular, the Roman Catholic Community in the Diocese of St. George’s-in-Grenada has lost an illustrious son of the soil.
His Lordship Bishop Vincent Darius died peacefully on Tuesday while receiving treatment for a medical condition at the Bellevue Medical Centre in New York.
The 60-year old Darius was born in Crochu, St. Andrew’s on September 6th, 1955.
He was educated at the Crochu R.C. and the Grenada Boy’s Secondary Schools.
He taught for three years at the Pomme Rose R.C. School before entering the Dominican Order in 1978 at Mt. St. Ervans, Grenada, and then entered the Novitiate in 1979 at Holy Cross Priory, Arima, Trinidad.
His studies for the priesthood were done at the Regional Seminary of St. John Vianney and the Uganda Martyrs, Trinidad, and the Universidad Central de Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
Bishop Darius also did a Graduate Certificate Course in Spiritual Direction at the Aquinas Institute of Theology at St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
Darius was ordained to the priesthood on June 26, 1987 by the late Bishop Lester Guilly in his childhood Parish of St. Martin de Porres, Crochu.
A year later he was elected Prior of the Dominican House of Formation in Puerto Rico.
On returning from Puerto Rico, the late Bishop was appointed parish priest of St. Paul’s and a year later parish priest of Grand Anse.
In 1989, he was appointed by his Dominican Brethren as Promoter of Justice for the Caribbean and served for a period of six years.
Bishop Darius was elected the first Prior of the newly established Priory at Roxborough, St. Paul’s and served for two terms.
On July 10, 2002, Bishop Darius, O.P. was appointed as the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of St. George’s-in-Grenada, and ordained on October 2, 2002 as the first Grenadian-born at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in St. George’s.
In the Diocese, Bishop Darius held many positions including that of Diocesan Consultor and member of the Priests’ Council.
In 2002 the Antilles Episcopal Conference appointed him to the Regional Seminary of St. John Vianney and Uganda Martyrs as Spiritual Director.
Bishop Darius has the distinguished honour of being the first Grenadian Bishop and the second Dominican to be made Bishop of the Diocese.
The other was the late Bishop Justin Fields O. P. Presently there is only one other Dominican Bishop in the Caribbean, Bishop Robert Rivas of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
In 2003 Bishop Darius received an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities and the ex-Alumni Association award for outstanding achievement from the Universidad Central de Bayamon in Puerto Rico
Bishop Darius also received the 2003 ex-Alumni Association award for outstanding achievement. He was a priest for 28 years, and a Bishop for 13 years.
In his sermon during the ordination ceremony of Sr. Jillian Jerome of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother Bishop Darius spoke out against the social and moral decadence plaguing the country, and charged that there is “darkness” in the land.
“There are so many sparks of darkness and that is where Religious can bring light,” he said.
Bishop Darius is likely to be buried sometime next week.
After the funeral, the process for the selection of a new head for the Roman Catholic Bishop in Grenada will be next upon the agenda.
It begins with the Apostolic Nuncio of the Antilles Episcopal Conference, Archbishop Nicola Girasoli who is based in the Archdiocese of Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, the Pope’s Representative.
The Archbishop will determine which of the priests are qualified to serve as a Bishop.
After various consultations with Bishops and Priests, the Apostolic Nuncio sends three names in order of his preference to Rome.
Rome then has the authority to select one of the three priests, or reject all three advising that further consultations be done.
When the Holy See agrees, there is a special department for the selection of Bishops that has the responsibility to give the approval.
That department will then put the chosen name to the Pope who makes the final decision.
That process which is drawn out can last a couple of months.
During this time Father Clifton Harris will continue to act as Diocesan Administrator.