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Archdiocesan Priest, Rev. John J. Rochford, Dies

Fr. Rochford was Pastor Emeritus of St. Emeric Parish in Country Club Hills, Ill.

Chicago, IL (June 6, 2018) – Rev. John J. Rochford, pastor emeritus of St. Emeric Parish in Country Club Hills, Ill., passed away on June 1, 2018, at Palos Community Hospital in Palos Heights, Ill. He was 96 years old.

Fr. Rochford was born on December 15, 1921 in Chicago. He attended St. Joachim School and Quigley Preparatory Seminary, both located in Chicago. In 1946, he earned a master’s degree at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Ill.

Fr. Rochford was ordained to the priesthood on May 3, 1947, by Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago, and celebrated his first Solemn Mass at St. Columbanus in Chicago on May 4 of the same year.

After ordination to priesthood, Fr. Rochford served the archdiocese as assistant pastor at the following parishes from 1947 through 1966: St. Mark Parish on Campbell Avenue in Chicago, St. Bartholomew Parish on Patterson Avenue in Chicago, and St. Raymond de Penafort Parish in Mt. Prospect, Ill.

Subsequently, Fr. Rochford served as chaplain at St. Alexius Hospital, now Amita Health Alexian Brothers Medical Center, in Elk Grove Village, Ill., for six years and as pastor of St. Emeric Parish in Country Club Hills, Ill., from 1972 through 1991, when he received the title of pastor emeritus.

Most Rev. George J. Rassas, auxiliary bishop of Chicago and episcopal vicar of Vicariate I, met Fr. Rochford when, as a newly ordained priest, Bishop Rassas was assigned to Queen of the Rosary Parish in Elk Grove Village. “Fr. John was the chaplain at St. Alexius Hospital. I found him to be compassionate and caring in his ministry, and for me, a mentor and friend. His visits on most Saturday evenings for dinner at Queen of the Rosary rectory were a lesson in priestly fraternity that I have always appreciated,” Bishop Rassas said.

Visitation hours will be from 9 to 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 7, at St. Emeric Parish, 4300 W. 180th Street in Country Club Hills, Ill., followed by the Funeral Mass at 11 a.m.

Rev. Martin Marren, pastor of St. Emeric Parish, will be the main celebrant. 

Interment will take place at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 6001 W. 111th Street in Alsip, Ill.