Bishop Thomas John Paprocki
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1978. After ordination, he studied law at DePaul University College of Law and was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1981. Working as a parish priest at St. Michael Church in South Chicago, a neighborhood with high unemployment due to shutdowns of the local steel mills, then-Father Paprocki co-founded the South Chicago Legal Clinic to help answer the need for legal services for the poor. In 2014 Bishop Paprocki was named President Emeritus and Of Counsel of the organization, now called the Chicago Legal Clinic.
In November, 1985, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin appointed Fr. Paprocki Vice-Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago and in 1987 sent him to do post-graduate studies in canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He completed his doctoral degree in 1991. Father Paprocki then returned to his previous position in Chicago as Vice-Chancellor and was appointed Chancellor in March, 1992, serving in that capacity under Cardinal Bernardin and then under Cardinal Francis George, following Cardinal Bernardin’s death in 1996.
Concluding his service as Chancellor after two terms in office in June, 2000, Father Paprocki studied Polish language and culture at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland. In January 2001, he was appointed Pastor of St. Constance Parish, serving primarily a large immigrant community from Poland on the northwest side of Chicago. Pope John Paul II appointed him to serve as Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago on January 24, 2003. Cardinal George named him Liaison for Health and Hospital Affairs in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Bishop Paprocki serves as Vice-President of the Illinois Catholic Health Association. He is a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance. In addition to English, he speaks Polish, Spanish and Italian, and he reads Latin. On June 22, 2010, Bishop Paprocki was installed the ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. In May 2013 he received his Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from the University of Notre Dame. He has taught as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law since 1999. He also joined the Adjunct Faculty of Notre Dame Law School in 2016.
Bishop Paprocki's hobbies are reading, running and playing hockey. He has run twenty-one marathons: Chicago (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002 and 2005), Columbus, Ohio (1998), Boston (1998), Rome (2000) Athens (2000), Washington, D.C. (2004 & 2007), Dayton, Ohio (2006), Dublin, Ireland (2008), Minneapolis-St. Paul (2009), Denver (2010), Kansas City (2011), St. Louis (2012) and Springfield (2013 and 2015), in the process raising $427,694.07 for charity.
Father Burke Masters
Fr. Burke was born December 17, 1966 and raised in Joliet, IL, the youngest of three sons to Tod and Janet Masters. He was not raised Catholic but attended Providence Catholic High School in order to move closer to his dream of becoming a Major League baseball player. It was at Providence that Fr. Burke fell in love with the Eucharist and the Catholic Church. He became Catholic his senior year in high school.
He went on to play baseball at Mississippi State University, where he played in the College World Series. He was nominated as one of the top student-athletes in the history of Mississippi State University as the SEC celebrated its 75th anniversary. For a commercial narrated by John Grisham about Fr. Burke click http://secsports.com/index.php?s=&url_channel_id=22&url_subchannel_id=&url_article_id=9256&change_well_id=2
His major league dream did not materialize, so after working as an actuary, and then ticket manager for the Kane County Cougars, Fr. Burke felt the call to become a priest.
He attended Mundelein Seminary from 1997-2002 and was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Joliet in June of 2002. He served for four years as associate pastor at St. Mary’s Parish in West Chicago, IL.
In June of 2006 he became the Vocation Director for the Diocese of Joliet. He now travels around the diocese to encourage young men and women to lay down their lives for the sake of Jesus Christ.
Fr. Burke has been serving as the Catholic Chaplain for the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs since 2013.