Monsignor John Finley Porter died on Friday, April 8, 2022, at the age of 89.

He was born on Sept. 1, 1932, in Manistee, son of John and Lillian (née Ferguson) Porter.

Monsignor Porter attended St. Joseph Seminary in Grand Rapids, Seminaire de Philosophie in Montreal, North American College in Vatican City, Gregorian University in Rome, and the Lateran University in Rome.

He was ordained to the priesthood on Dec. 15, 1957, by Bishop Martin J. O’Connor at the North American College Chapel in Rome.

Over the years, he served as a canonist and as a parish priest in many parishes throughout the Diocese of Grand Rapids. In July 1958, Father Porter was appointed assistant of St. James in Grand Rapids and in October 1961 was appointed administrator of St. James in Grand Rapids; in June 1962, he assisted in the Diocesan Matrimonial Curia – Notary; in June 1965, he was appointed assistant of St. Isidore; in September 1965, he pursued graduate study in canon law at Lateran University in Rome; June 1966, he was appointed assistant of Catholic Shrine in Indian River; September 1966, appointed pastor of St. Mary in Mount Pleasant; September 1970, appointed co-pastor of Assumption of the BVM; June 1971, pastor of St. James in Grand Rapids; April 1975, co-pastor of St. James in Grand Rapids; July 1977, pastor of St. Mary in Sand Lake with St. Clara Mission in Coral; October 1979, member of Presbyteral Council; June 1983, pastor of Assumption of the BVM in Belmont; September 1988, appointed Adjutant Judicial Vicar by law and Notary of the Tribunal; September 1989, appointed Dean of Grand Rapids North Deanery; January 1990, appointed to College of Consultors; February 1993, pastor of St. Catherine in Ravenna and St. Francis Xavier in Conklin; January 1995, appointed Dean of Grand Haven Deanery.

In August 2005, Father Porter was appointed Judicial Vicar of the Tribunal office of the Diocese of Grand Rapids by Bishop Walter A. Hurley; and in March 2006, he was appointed “Chaplain to his Holiness” by Pope Benedict XVI with title of Reverend Monsignor. He was granted senior priest status on June 30, 2007. As a senior priest, Monsignor Porter relocated to Frankfort, Michigan, and continued his pastoral ministry there at St. Ann Catholic Church.

May Monsignor Porter now rest in eternal peace. Please remember him and his family in your and prayers.

Funeral Arrangements:

Friday, April 22, 9 – 11 a.m. (prior to the Mass of Christian Burial, see details below)

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church
6369 Belmont Ave. NE
Belmont, Michigan 49306

Mass of Christian Burial:
Friday, April 22 at 11 a.m.

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church (see address information above)

Presider: Most Reverend David Walkowiak, bishop of Grand Rapids
Homilist: Monsignor Edward Hankiewicz, pastor of St. Isidore Parish, Grand Rapids and former judicial vicar of the diocesan Tribunal Office

A luncheon will be held following the funeral Mass in Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s church activity center.