Reverend Thomas E. Sutton, a priest of the Diocese of Saginaw, died on Friday, March 24, 2023. He served generously as a priest for more than 53 years.
Father Sutton loved serving as a priest and a pastor and was known for his tireless dedication to his ministry. Father Sutton also enjoyed spending time with his family, fishing, golfing and working outdoors.
Father Sutton was born on July 5, 1942, in Bay City. He is the son of the late Edward and Mary Jane (Wackerly) Sutton. He received his elementary and secondary education at St. James School in Bay City.
Father Sutton began his priestly formation at St. Paul Seminary in Saginaw. He continued his formation at Holy Cross Seminary in La Crosse, Wisconsin, where he studied philosophy. Father Sutton studied theology at the American College of Louvain in Belgium. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Saginaw on June 28, 1969, in Louvain. Father Sutton also studied canon law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
In his younger years, Father Sutton served as Associate Pastor of Our Lady of the Visitation, Bay City; St. Stephen, Saginaw; St. Christopher, Bridgeport and St. Helen, Saginaw. Later, he served as Pastor of Blessed Sacrament, Midland; St. Hyacinth, Bay City; St. Stephen, Saginaw; St. Anthony, Fisherville and St. Joseph, Auburn, which later merged to form the new St. Gabriel Parish. Along with his parish responsibilities, Father Sutton also served on the Diocesan Tribunal and as Vicar General and Vicar of Administration for the Diocese of Saginaw. Father Sutton also served as Diocesan Administrator from 2004 to 2005.
Father Sutton’s funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 12 at St. Joseph Church (St. Gabriel Parish), 84 W. Midland Rd., Auburn. The Most Reverend Robert D. Gruss, Bishop of Saginaw, will preside and Reverend Gerald Balwinski will be the homilist. Priests of the Diocese of Saginaw will concelebrate the Funeral Mass. The Rite of Committal will take place at St. Patrick Cemetery.
Visitation will take place at St. Joseph Church on Tuesday April 11 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., with a Vigil Prayer Service at 7 p.m. led by Reverend Robert Howe and Reverend Jack Johnson, and again on Wednesday morning from 9 a.m. until the time of Mass.