Funeral of Bishop Vincent Darius

The Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of Most Rev. Vincent Darius O.P. will take place on Wednesday 25th May in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, St. George’s at 10.00 a.m.

In accordance with his expressed wish there will be no tributes.

•       The body of Bishop Darius will arrive in Grenada on Wednesday 18th May at 6.55 p.m.

•       On Thursday, 20th May it will be taken to Carriacou for viewing

•       On Monday 23rd May his body will lie in state in St. Martin DePorres Parish Church, Crochu, St. Andrew’s from 8:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

•       On Tuesday 24th it will be in the Cathedral, St. George’s from 8:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

(1). Why isn’t the Bishop’s Funeral at the Stadium since the Cathedral would not hold the expected crowd?

The word “Cathedral” comes from the Latin “CATHEDRA” meaning:
•       the chair or throne of a bishop in his cathedral church;
•       a liturgical term for the assuming of Episcopal authority.

The Cathedra or Bishop’s Chair symbolises the teaching authority of the bishop. Those who were present at the ordination of Bishop Darius will remember the emotional moment after the ordination when the new bishop was escorted to the Cathedra by Bishop Emeritus Sydney Charles who had occupied it until that time.

The CATHEDRAL is the official church of the bishop, where his permanent cathedra or chair is erected. It is the mother church of a diocese and its clergy has precedence.

The Code of Canon Law  (Canon 1178) states that the funeral ceremonies of a diocesan Bishop are to be celebrated in his own cathedral church, unless he himself has chosen another church.

(2). Where will Bishop Darius be buried?

The body of Bishop Darius will be placed in a specially prepared tomb in the crypt of the Cathedral. His tomb is next to that of the first bishop of the Diocese of St. George’s-in-Grenada, Bishop Justin Field O.P.

Also buried in the crypt are Fr. William Mallaghan, who died in December 2001 and four other priests who served in Grenada in the 19th century.

The crypt is a recess or vault, usually underground, used as a burial room. Many ancient churches, not necessarily cathedrals, have crypts.

Those buried in crypts will be people intimately associated with the local church.

(3). Why is there such a delay in the holding of the funeral?

The decision to have the funeral on 25th May was made to meet the wishes and needs of the family.

(4). How is the diocese run during the interim period  before a new bishop is appointed?

Canon Law requires that every diocesan bishop have a Vicar General, a priest who will act in his stead when he is absent from the diocese and will carry certain very important responsibilities.

The diocesan bishop must also have a “College of Consultors,” a group of priests whom he has chosen to be his advisers.

Within a few days of the death of a Bishop, the Vicar General convenes a meeting of the Consultors who elect an Administrator of the Diocese. At that point the role of Vicar General comes to an end. The Diocesan Administrator is responsible for the administration of the diocese until a new bishop is appointed. Our Diocesan Administrator is Fr. Clifton Harris O.P.

(5). How is a new bishop selected?

In brief, it is the Pope who decides who shall be a bishop. He will act on the advice of the Regional Apostolic Nuncio (The Pope’s Representative to the Antilles Episcopal Conference – the Bishops of the Caribbean).  The Nuncio, over a period of time will have sought the views of people considered to be responsible and knowledgeable – clergy, religious, and laity, on the suitability of possible candidates.

All concerned in these consultations are bound to secrecy. The Nuncio sends a short list of names to Rome where one is eventually chosen personally by the Pope.  There is no time frame within which the Pope should appoint a Bishop.

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