Francis Galles, 92, of Preston

Msgr. Francis A. Galles, 92, of Preston, died Sept. 7, 2019, at Traditions of Preston.

He was born in Iona, Minn., on March 8, 1927, to Charles and Virginia (Boltz) Galles. There were ten children in the Galles family: Leona, Lawrence, Eugene, Charles, Lester, Sylvester, Clara, Gerald, Francis and Rose Virginia. At the age of 18, he left home to study for the priesthood at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. From there, he studied at the Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and the Gregorian University in Rome.

On Dec. 20, 1952, he was ordained to the priesthood at the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. He served as Parochial Vicar at St. John Nepomucene in Winona and St. Pius X in Rochester. As pastor, he served at St. Francis Xavier in Windom, St. Augustine in Jeffers, St. Columban in Preston, St. Lawrence in Fountain, and St. Patrick in Lanesboro.

Other assignments included assistant editor of The Courier, spiritual director for Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona and the North American College in Rome, advocate and notary for the tribunal, chaplain for the Sisters of St. Francis Motherhouse in Rochester, parochial administrator for St. Columban in Preston, St. Lawrence O’Toole in Fountain, St. Ann in Slayton, St. Mary in Lake Wilson, St. Ignatius in Spring Valley, St. Finbarr in Grand Meadow and St. Patrick in LeRoy.

In 1962, he was named Papal Chamberlain by Pope John XXIII and in 1968 he was named Domestic Prelate. On July 1, 1997, Galles joined the rank of senior priests of the diocese.

After retiring in 1998, he bought a home just down the street from St. Columban’s in Preston, which he named “The Hermitage.” He continued to offer weekday masses at St. Columban’s, and also substituted at many other parishes in the diocese.

In December of 2015 he moved into Traditions, an assisted living community in Preston. He still stayed active in many local organizations such as the Knights of Columbus, Preston Area Arts Council and the Preston Area Historical Society. He also loved going to and supporting the Commonweal Theater in Lanesboro.

At the age of 92 he retired from offering weekday masses after it got difficult for him to drive in the snow and ice.

In 1977, after attending a 30-day retreat, he was inspired to write his autobiography. He had been keeping journals and appointment books since the age of 22, in which he kept a record of people he met and places he had traveled to. In 2017, he published his book, ‘The Last of My Many Friendships.”

He was the last surviving member of his immediate family. He leaves behind many nieces and nephews.

A funeral mass will be offered at St. Columban Church, Preston, on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 10:30 a.m. by the Most Reverend John Quinn, Bishop. He will be interred in the Galles family plot at St. Columba Cemetery in Iona at a future date.

Condolences may be left at