Father Francis J. Roach

Father Francis J. Roach entered eternal life on June 14, 2018 at the age of 89.

All services will be held at St. Michael Catholic Church 16311 Duluth Street SE, Prior Lake, MN. A visitation will be held on Friday, June 22, from 3:00 – 7:00 PM with Rosary Service at 7:00 PM, provided by the Rosemount and Prior Lake Knights of Columbus Assemblies. Mass of Christian Burial is Saturday, June 23, at 10:00 AM with visitation from 8:30 – 9:45 AM. Michael Roach, Kevin Roach, Francis Beuch, Trace Birno, Nathan Birno & Alex Birno will act as pallbearers. Fr. Roach will be laid to rest at St. Michael Catholic Cemetery in Prior Lake. Memorials are preferred and will be distributed by Fr. Roach’s family in his honor.

On February 10, 1929, Frank and Catherine (Lyons) Roach celebrated the birth of their son, Francis Joseph Roach. He was the oldest of three boys and loved growing up at the family farm near Fish Lake. The boys enjoyed playing baseball in the yard, when they weren’t helping with chores or milking cows. Francis always had many friends and got along with everyone. He made many lifelong friends while attending Jordan High School. After graduating in 1947, Francis knew he wanted to become a priest and dedicate his life to the Lord.

His parents wanted to make sure he truly understood this commitment, so they had him work on the farm for a year. At the end of the year, Francis was still committed to his plan. So, he attended Nazareth Hall and continued on to the Seminary. Just like in high school, Francis made many wonderful friends in the seminary.

Fr. Roach was ordained on June 2, 1956. His first assigned was at St. John’s Parish on the east side of St. Paul. It was there that Fr. Roach inspired the church janitor to join the seminary and become a priest. He also served at Nativity in Bloomington, St. Andrew’s in Como Park, St. John’s Vianney in South St. Paul and St. Joseph’s in Rosemount. Throughout his calling, Fr. Roach touched the lives and hearts of so many. He loved teaching others about the Lord and working in children’s ministry. Fr. Roach was known for his booming voice, and he had the reputation for never needing a microphone. After many years of service, Fr. Roach retired at the age of 65. Even in retirement, he remained very busy. Fr. Roach was constantly lending a helping hand anywhere he was needed. Fr. Roach truly had a servant’s heart and didn’t know how to say “no”.

Although Fr. Roach’s faith was most important in his life, he also loved spending time with his family. Fr. Roach would always come home to Prior Lake to be with his family for Sunday dinner and a game of 500. For 62 years, he was proud to officiate at family weddings, baptisms and funerals. Fr. Roach loved when the entire family would get together.

In his spare time, Fr. Roach enjoyed being out on the links enjoying a game of golf. Golf was a lifelong passion of his, but Fr. Roach really had the time to play a lot when he wintered in Arizona. Fr. Roach was a big sports fan. He cheered on all the local teams but was a huge Vikings and Twins fan. Fr. Roach was also an avid traveler. He saw the world, but especially enjoyed his trips to the Holy Land.

Father Roach spent the last three years of his life at St. Gertrude’s in Shakopee, where he received excellent care. Fr. Roach spent the last week of his life surrounded by family. He dedicated his entire life to Christ and the church. Fr. Roach will be deeply missed by so many.

He is survived by his brother, Jerry (Lorraine) Roach; nieces & nephews, Colleen (Francis) Beuch, Patti (Trace) Birno, Michael Roach and Kevin Roach; great-nephews, Nathan & Alex Birno; other loving relatives and friends. He was greeted in Heaven by his parents and brother, James Roach.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Tracy Velishek

    My deepest condolences to Fr. Roach’s Family.
    Fr. Roach was one of the most special people I have ever known. We became friends while he helped at St. Patrick, Shieldsville for many years in his retirement. I truly value his friendship, all his advice, and the great, honest and practical man he was. The People of St Patrick, Shieldsville have missed him, too. We never had trouble hearing him with that booming voice of his. And i loved his laugh! I know he is golfing, playing cards or just enjoying conversation with other ‘angels’. Rest in peace dear Friend.

  2. Anne Pekarna-Wolf

    We are so sorry for your loss, he was truly an amazing man. His smile could light up a room, his laugh was so infectious, and his voice was so powerful yet mesmerizing. We know that he is having a wonderful time in heaven with our dad, Frank Pekarna. Blessing always Frannie thank you for always being there for our family! You will be missed but never forgotten!

  3. Thomas P. Officer,M.D

    I grew up in Bloomington and remember Fr. Roach when he was at Nativity of Mary in the early 60s. It was he, Fr. O’Leary and the pastor Fr. Larkin who were the first priests I had contact with as a first and second grader at Nativity school.
    Sad to hear of his passing, but amazed at such a long and productive life.

  4. I, too, have fond memories of Father Roach from Nativity in Bloomington. May he rest in peace.

  5. Robert Smishek

    Father Roach while I was a patient at St Gertrudes in Shakopee, spent time talking and praying together. He also loved putting puzzels together and I helped him with some large puzzels. Also attendence Mass together. After I was released from St. Gertrudes I would call him on the phone and visit with him. I am sure he was greeted in heaven by our Lord Jesus Christ
    Robert Smishek Shakopee, MN.

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