Archbishop John R. Roach, a 1946 graduate of The Saint Paul Seminary, was ordained on June 8th of that year. His first appointment as a priest was to the parish of Saint Stephen in Minneapolis. He was assigned as teacher and then very quickly as Headmaster to Saint Thomas Academy. He occupied this post with distinction for 14 years. Archbishop Roach then generously agreed to undertake the founding of Saint John Vianney Seminary; he became its first Rector. Only three years later, he was named an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. In July of 1975, he became Archbishop and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1995.
Numerous awards and honors have been bestowed upon him: twelve ecclesiastical honors as well as Honorary Degrees from Gustavus Adolphus, St. Mary's in Winona, Loyola University in Chicago, Villanova, St. Leo's College in Florida, and the University of Saint Thomas.
He was very active in the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, and twice was selected as their President.
Archbishop Roach always showed particular commitment to pastoral ministry, social justice, administrative demands, and outreach to the missions.
Rev. Msgr. William L. Baumgaertner graduated from The Saint Paul Seminary in 1946. He was honored for his many years of service to the seminary as professor, rector, board member and benefactor.
Msgr. Baumgaertner has distinguished himself nationally in seminary accreditation and education by having served as executive director of the seminary department of the National Catholic Educational Association in Washington, D.C., and associate director for accreditation of the Association of Theological Schools in the U.S. and Canada. He also served for nine years on The Saint Paul Seminary Board of Trustees and on numerous other boards. As an advisor to several theological schools, both national and international, he guided them along the accreditation process and worked to improve the training of presidents and governing boards.
Monsignor was the chair of the Centennial Committee that was charged with planning the celebration of the seminary’s long and influential history in preparing priests for the Church. As a benefactor, he has generously contributed to and promoted the seminary’s need for financial support through two endowments established in his honor: one to support the operating expenses of the seminary (the Baumgaertner Endowment Fund) and another to support the spiritual formation of seminarians (the Baumgaertner Endowment Fund Phase II).