|THE REAL DEAL|
The third of nine children, Thomas Paprocki was born in Chicago, Illinois; he has six brothers and two sisters. A lifelong fan of hockey - who is sometimes referred to in the media as the "Holy Goalie" -, he began playing at a young age in the basement of his father's drugstore and supports the Chicago Blackhawks. He graduated from Quigley Preparatory Seminary South in 1970, and then entered Niles College, where he obtained a Bachelor of Artsdegree in 1974.
From 1974 to 1979, he studied at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, where he earned a Bachelor's in Sacred Theology(1976), Master's in Divinity (1978), and Licentiate in Sacred Theology (1979).
Paprocki was ordained to the priesthood by John Cardinal Cody on May 10, 1978, and then served as associate pastor at St. Michael's Church in South Chicago until 1983. In 1981, he earned his Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law and founded the Chicago Legal Clinic to assist the working poor and disadvantaged.
Paprocki served as administrator of St. Joseph Church in Chicago from 1983 to 1986 and as vice-chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago from 1985 to 1987. He then furthered his studies in Rome at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he obtained a Licentiate of Canon Law (1989) and a Doctor of Canon Law degree (1991). Upon his return to the United States, he was named chancellor of the archdiocese in 1992 and later pastor of St. Constance Church in 2000. In 2013 he received an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.
On January 24, 2003, Paprocki was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago and Titular Bishop of Vulturaria by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on the following March 19 fromFrancis Cardinal George, O.M.I., with bishops Raymond E. Goedert and Ricardo Watty Urquidi, M.Sp.S., serving as co-consecrators. As an auxiliary, he served as Episcopal Vicar for Vicariate IV, and as the cardinal's liaison for Polonia and for health and hospital affairs. He is also a member of the boards of directors of the Polish American Association and the Polish American Leadership Initiative.
When the Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, issued an executive order in 2005 requiring all pharmacists in the state to dispense prescription contraceptives,Paprocki condemned the order in Blagojevich's presence, saying, "I am dismayed that our secular society has reached the point that individuals are being required by law to violate their personal religious beliefs in order to accommodate