John R. Roach was the first Minnesota native to head the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He served as Archbishop from 1975 until his retirement in 1995.
In his 20 years as Archbishop, Roach was instrumental in calling national attention to social justice issues-- particularly the plight of the poor. A highlight of Roach's tenure as archbishop included his work in interfaith relations, including the development and signing of the Lutheran-Catholic Covenant.
Roach was ordained a priest in 1946 and during his first four years of ministry, he taught Latin and religion at St. Thomas Academy. He was later named headmaster of the high school where he served until 1968. That year, he founded the archdiocese's college seminary, St. John Vianney Seminary located on the campus of the University of St. Thomas.