HUANCAVELICA, Peru (AP) — Hundreds of people gathered on Huancavelica’s main square Wednesday to say goodbye to their longtime Roman Catholic bishop with a memorial service that included a color guard of students and a contingent of police in dress uniform.
Bishop Emeritus William McDermott died Monday at age 83.
The Irish priest arrived in Peru in 1976 and immediately embraced the Quechua culture of Peru’s Andean areas, even learning the language. People in this mountain town of about 40,000 people fondly called him “Bishop Demetrio.” He served as bishop from 1982 to 2005.
The national government had cited McDermott for his nearly 30 years of pastoral work in the southern region around Huancavelica, which is one of the poorest parts of Peru.
After the ceremony, the bishop’s casket was buried inside the cathedral.