I am always especially excited to be able to interview one of Christs’ Vicars here on Earth. Bishop Paprocki is the “Ordinary” for the Diocese of Springfield, the capital of Illinois, and by no means is he”ordinary”. He is probably in the best physical condition of all the US bishops. He runs marathons (18 and counting) and still plays ice hockey (goalie) on an amateur team.
He has written a book–Holy Goals for Body and Soul–that extols the virtues and demands of athletics and their application to life. It is loaded with interesting stories from sports and their practical lessons for everyday life. I highly recommend it as a gift for any athlete or sports enthusiast.
The goalie is the last line of defense, and courage is essential. So it is with a bishop, as he is the final authority for his diocese and when something is wrong, he has the responsibility to address the problem. Bishop Paprocki has taken the heat for his 2012 pastoral letter on a Catholic’s responsibility to take his/er faith into the voting booth, and he has spoken clearly in defense of marriage.
Bishop Paprocki is also a lawyer and quite willing to offer guidance to the Illinois State legislature and other state officials in Springfield. Illinois does not have a strong pro-life/family reputation [ranked 36th by Americans United for Life–www.aul.org/states/illinois], so some recent decisions are surprising. Does he see “evolving”? Is he a stimulant for evolution in Illinois?