The Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki was named the Bishop of Springfield in Illinois on April 20, 2010 by his Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.

For his episcopal motto Bishop Paprocki has retained the Latin motto "LEX CORDIS CARITAS." This phrase, which is based on the texts from the Prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 31:33), Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 13:10) and the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on The Church (Lumen Gentium (LG-#9)), expresses Bishop Paprocki’s profound belief, as both a civil and a canon lawyer, that, truly, “the law of the heart is love.”

Bishop Paprocki was born on August 5, 1952, in Chicago. He was ordained to the priesthood in Mundelein, IL on May 10, 1978 for the Archdiocese of Chicago. After ordination, he studied law at DePaul University College of Law and was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1981. On January 24, 2003, Pope John Paull II appointed him to serve as Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago. He was installed as the ninth bishop of Springfield in Illinois on June 22, 2010.

What is a bishop?

Catholic bishops are the chief pastors of the Diocesan Church; they are the spiritual and administrative leaders of the Catholic people in a given area. Bishops are seen as the signs of unity within the Diocesan Church, as their link with each other through the Pope is a sign of the universal unity of the Church. The Second Vatican Council of the early 1960s reiterated that bishops are successors of the apostles and are ordained into the apostle's mission.
"Bishops should proclaim the gospel of Christ to everyone. This is one of the principal duties of bishops. Fortified by the Spirit, they should call on people to believe or should strengthen them when they already have a living faith.... They should present the doctrine of Christ in a manner suited to the needs of the times; that is, so it may be relevant to those difficulties and questions which people find especially worrying and intimidating. They should also safeguard this doctrine, teaching the faithful themselves to defend it and propagate it.... Bishops should endeavor to use the various methods available nowadays for proclaiming Christian doctrine." (Section 12 and 13 of the Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church, 1965)
"Bishops should see to it that the faithful know and live the pascal mystery more deeply through the Eucharist, forming one closely-knit body, united by the charity of Christ; 'devoting themselves to prayer and the ministry of the word' (Acts 6:4) .... As spiritual guides of their flocks, bishops should be zealous in promoting the sanctity of their clergy, their religious and their laity according to the vocation of each individual, remembering that they are under an obligation to give an example of sanctity in charity, humility, and simplicity of life." (Section 15 of the Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church, 1965)
"In exercising his office of father and pastor, the bishop should be with his people as one who serves, as a good shepherd who knows his sheep and whose sheep know him, as a true father who excels in his love and solicitude for all, to whose divinely conferred authority all readily submit.... The various forms of the apostolate should be encouraged. Close collaboration and coordination of all the apostolic works under the direction of the bishop should be promoted in the diocese." (Section 16 and 17 of the Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church, 1965)

Meet Our Team

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki
Laura Fjelstul
Laura FjelstulExecutive Secretary
Rev. Dominic J. Rankin
Rev. Dominic J. RankinPriest Secretary and Master of Ceremonies


Office of the Bishop
1615 West Washington St.
Springfield, IL 62702

Phone Number

(217) 698-8500 ext. 102
The Diocese of Springfield is committed to continue our efforts to work in partnership with local agancies to prevent any type of abuse. For information on how to report any child or adult sexual abuse or misconduct, any financial misconduct, or abuse or misconduct by Bishops, please click on the report abuse button. We also seek to bring about healing where abuse has occurred.