Bishop Paprocki raises $10,000 for vocations in marathon run
By Diane Schlindwein
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki waves as he completes the St. Louis Rock-N-Roll Marathon on Oct. 21. Photo courtesy of the National LIFE Runners team.
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki waves as he completes the St. Louis Rock-N-Roll Marathon on Oct. 21. Photo courtesy of the National LIFE Runners team.

.- Bishop Thomas John Paprocki finished the St. Louis Rock-N-Roll Marathon on Oct. 21 in four hours, 22 minutes and 53 seconds. It was his 19th marathon.

“I placed 743 out of 1,749 overall ... and was 508 out of 931 in the men's division,” said Bishop Paprocki in an email to employees at the Catholic Pastoral Center and Catholic Charities in Springfield. Additionally, he finished fifth out of 25 in his age division.

Bishop Paprocki ran with the LIFE Runners, the only pro-life marathon team in the nation.

“We had the largest team registered for the St. Louis Rock-N-Roll half/full marathon,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Pat Castle, one of the co-founders of the LIFE Runners. He said that 245 LIFE Runners from 24 states geared up for the race. Another 245 LIFE Runners did other races across the country.

“Our 2012 team is up to 490 runners/walkers, ages 5 to 73, in 36 states and three foreign countries,” Castle said. “We raised over $52,000 for our beneficiaries.” LIFE Runner money was designated to St. Louis ThriVe baby bus, St. Louis Good Shepherd (which provides post-baby family support), and Sioux Falls Alpha Center baby bus.

In the marathon, Bishop Paprocki wore a LIFE Runners T-shirt and bib number 4165.

As the chaplain for the National LIFE Runners Team, he concelebrated Mass for the LIFE Runners and their families and friends at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis and prayed the blessing before the race. He was also presented with the 2011 LIFE Runner of the Year Award.

Like all the LIFE Runners, he helped donate to the designated charities, but also raised money to be used locally for diocesan seminarians.

“To date, $10,000 has been donated in support of my marathon run for vocations to help pay for the education and formation of our seminarians,” Bishop Paprocki said. “I am grateful for the generous support for the training of the future priests of our diocese.”

Bishop Paprocki is already looking forward to his 20th marathon. He is planning to run the Crazy Horse Marathon in Hill City, S.D., on Oct. 6, 2013. Running with the LIFE Runners he will support pro-life causes but hopes to also once again support seminarians and says he would welcome seminarians and priests from the diocese who would run with him.

For information on pledging, go to www.dio.org/marathon.

Posted with permission from Catholic Times, official newspaper of the Diocese of Springfield, Ill.

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