By SUE SUCHYTA
DEARBORN – The Rev. John Child, 91, who died Oct. 10, was a longtime pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and School in Dearborn.
He was known for his kind manner and his down-to-earth homilies, which appealed to all ages, but especially to the school children of the parish.
Visitation is from 3 to 8 p.m. Oct. 14 at Howe-Peterson Funeral Home, 22546 Michigan Ave., Dearborn. A funeral mass will be held at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at Sacred Heart Church, 22430 Michigan Ave., Dearborn. His body will lie in state from 12:30 p.m. until the mass begins.
A light reception will follow the funeral mass in the parish hall.
The Rev. Child served as the pastor at Sacred Heart from 1973 to 1984, but returned often as a senior clergy to perform masses, and described the parish as his home.
Born in Pontiac Oct. 21, 1929, he attended Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township.
He was ordained June 6, 1959, and celebrated his first mass at St. Michael Catholic Church in Pontiac.
The Rev. Child became the assistant pastor at St. Norbert Parish in Inkster in 1959, St. Gertrude Parish in St. Clair Shores in 1964, and in 1968 at Our Lady of Loretto Parish in Redford Township.
In 1969, he began serving as a U.S. Navy chaplain in the Mediterranean and Japan.
In 1973, the Rev. Child became pastor at Sacred Heart in Dearborn, and served as the vicar of the Dearborn Vicariate.
In 1984, he became the pastor of St. Alfred Parish in Taylor, and from 1985 to 1988, served as the vicar of the Southland vicariate.
In 1987, the Rev. Child became the pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Grosse Pointe Woods.
From 1991 until 2000, he served as the pastor of St. Martha Parish in Dearborn, at which time he attained senior priest status and retired from the full-time ministry.
However, he served as an administrator at St. Sebastian in Dearborn Heights in 2003, and in 2006 at St. Joseph Parish in Dearborn.
While a senior pastor, the Rev. Child lived in the Sacred Heart Rectory, until 2010, when he moved to the Senior Clergy Village in Livonia. However, he continued to return to Sacred Heart regularly to celebrate mass.
Memorial donations may be made in the Rev. Child’s name to support the Sacred Heart Parish and Divine Child Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.