Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois ran the Kansas City Marathon on Saturday to help raise money and awareness for pro-life work.
He finished the 26.2-mile marathon with a time of 4:08:39, placing 531st out of 1,330 finishers.
The race went “very well,” he told CNA Oct. 19. “It’s a little bit hilly out in Kansas City. It was a nice sunny day, and the weather was good.”
The bishop took part in the event with the LIFE Runners team, a national effort which brought together 170 runners from 20 states to run either the half-marathon or the full marathon.
“This is the first time that I’ve run with the LIFE Runners, that was definitely significant,” Bishop Paprocki said. “It was really very inspiring.”
He and other runners wore T-shirts with slogans to promote respect for life, such as “Remember the Unborn.”
Others at the race responded positively to the slogans, Bishop Paprocki said. There were no negative reactions.
The bishop has run 17 other marathons. He began running in high school because of concern over his family’s history of heart disease.
His Saturday run helped raise $12,500 for a Chicago legal clinic and $3,700 for respect life ministries. His donations will support youth scholarships to the January March for Life in Washington, D.C., multimedia educational resources for diocesan youth in schools and parishes, and internet publicity about post-abortion assistance and healing.
Soliciting donations for a marathon inspires people to be more generous compared to when someone simply asks for money, he noted.
“People see you make an effort.”
The LIFE Runners as a whole raised $35,000 for the Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based Alpha Center pregnancy help bus, which travels across South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota to offer free pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, and information about abortion and alternatives. Their contributions also helped the Kansas City Wyandotte Pregnancy Clinic help bus.