Staff Member: Father James Stiles
Father James Stiles
Greetings to one and all! My name is Fr. James Stiles, and I very much look forward to meeting you and
serving as one of your priests here in this beautiful part of the state. Allow me to briefly introduce myself.
Although I was born in Lexington, KY, at age 6, my family and I moved to the delightful city of
Owatonna, MN. My parents still live there. My 4 sisters and 1 brother, on the other hand, all live either in
other parts of the state of MN or in other parts of the country. I am, by the way, the 4th child of the 6
children in our family.
After attending St. Mary’s catholic grade school, I earned my high school diploma at Owatonna’s
esteemed public high school. I decided to then study at the University of St. Thomas where I earned my
undergraduate degree in philosophy and Catholic Studies. During the first half of my college years, I had
thought perhaps I would like to be a teacher or a lawyer. God obviously had different plans for me as I
began to become seriously interested in the priesthood during my junior year of college. After graduating
from the University, I was accepted into the Saint Paul Seminary. I spent 5 wonderful, even if periodically
challenging, years at the seminary preparing for the priesthood.
I was ordained to the priesthood on May 30th, 2015, which means I just completed my third year as a
priest. I absolutely love being a priest! I am so blessed, honored, and humbled to serve the Lord in this
capacity. It is my greatest joy!
I am coming to you now after having spent three years serving the in much larger parish of St. Odilia in
Shoreview, MN. Just to give you some perspective, St. Odilia serves probably about 2 and ½ times the
number of people than all of our 5 parishes combined do. Therefore, the move to rural towns and
experiencing rural life will be an adjustment for me; nevertheless, I am excited and eager to dive in. I am
especially excited to get to know as many of you as is possible. As I learned at St. Odilia, I will, of
course, seek to serve you with all my heart, but I know that you will be a tremendous blessing to me in
countless ways. Let us begin our journey toward Christ together!