Holy Goals for Body and Soul

Holy Goals for Body and Soul

Eight Steps to Connect Sports with God and Faith 

Author: Bishop Thomas John Paprocki

Author: Joe Paprocki

Price: $13.95

Format: Paperback

Pages: 160

Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

ISBN: 978-1-59471-366-8

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

On-sale date: March 11, 2013

More Books for Teens, Personal Growth, Youth Ministry


Hockey-playing Catholic bishop Thomas J. Paprocki has a message for teens and young adults: athletics and fitness provide daily ways to connect with God. Bishop Paprocki weaves his unique personal story with eight athletic topics and connects them with a path to wholeness.

Holy Goals for Body and Soul: Eight Steps to Connect Sports with God and Faith links lessons from the world of sports and fitness—especially the experiences of a Catholic bishop who plays ice hockey—with concrete ways to live a holy life. In Bishop Paprocki’s view, everyone is called to holiness, which can be encountered anywhere: “I encounter holiness while training for a marathon. I encounter holiness during a workout at the health club.” He explores eight sports-related topics to help the reader navigate a life of holiness:

  1. Fear
  2. Frustration
  3. Failure
  4. Fortitude
  5. Faith
  6. Friendship
  7. Family
  8. Fun


"The perfect reminder."

Holy Goals for Body and Soul is the perfect reminder that the lessons of sports apply to every aspect of life.”

Bobby Hull
Chicago Blackhawks
Hall of Fame Left Winger

"A must-read."

“Who better than a Catholic bishop who plays goalie to make the connections between the challenges and rewards of sports with those of daily living? Holy Goals for Body and Soul is a must-read for anyone seeking to be a better person.”

Tony Esposito
Chicago Blackhawks
Hall of Fame Goalie

"Bishop Paprocki has hit a home run."

“At the risk of mixing sports metaphors, Bishop Paprocki has hit a home run with Holy Goals for Body and Soul. He insightfully and inspirationally explains why God should be central to all aspects of our life, including sports. His faith-filled witness and stories from the ice and marathon course provide a modern day application of St. Paul’s many scriptural exhortations to apply the lessons of sports to the spiritual life. This work is a valuable contribution to the emerging and evolving dialogue regarding the intersection of sports and faith. Specifically, it reminds us that sports, properly understood, requires the interaction of the body, mind, and soul.”

Ray McKenna
Catholic Athletes for Christ

"Examines the characteristics that are important to all of us that play, coach, or are fans of sports."

“In our sports-crazy society, we sometimes overlook the good that can come from being in athletics. In Holy Goals for Body and Soul, Bishop Thomas Paprocki examines the characteristics that are important to all of us that play, coach, or are fans of sports. He gives us eight steps for overcoming obstacles that we face regularly in our athletic lives and connects them to God and faith. These guidelines are not only a positive approach to sports, but also to how we can use them in our daily lives.”

Jeff Jackson
Head Hockey Coach
University of Notre Dame

"A remarkable story."

Holy Goals for Body and Soul by Bishop Paprocki is a remarkable story centered on his lifetime walk through sports and his correlation of sports and spirituality. As a young boy, Bishop Paprocki played ice hockey, and even today—as Bishop of Springfield— has stepped into the nets as goalie, notably with the Chicago Blackhawks. In this remarkable book, he outlines eight steps from his own encounters on and off the ice that can help us be better athletes, better family members, better Catholics — better ‘team players.’ Holy Goals for Body and Soul engages the reader; challenges the reader to push the envelope, to seek the higher, better goal; and like any sport we are passionate about, beckons us to enter in and partake, to strap on our skates or running shoes and go for it! A must for every athlete and every athletic administrator’s bookshelf, Bishop Paprocki’s book brings us with him into the struggle ‘inside the net’ where we can examine our own athletic experiences and encounter, through his wisdom and guidance, holiness.”

Susan Saint Sing
Author of Spirituality of Sport

"A refreshing reminder."

Holy Goals for Body and Soul is a refreshing reminder that sports can have a powerful impact on each and every one of us who participate. The author captures the important ingredient that helps us overcome failure while developing lifelong friendships. In addition, Holy Goals for Body and Soul highlights the lessons of working with others to achieve and fail together. A must-read for every parent searching for the positive, long-lasting impact that sports can have.”

Jay Blunk
Executive Vice President of Business Operations
Chicago Blackhawks

"A treasure in your hands."

“I am often asked what my best call was from the over 2,000 NHL games that I worked as a referee. My best call was clearly not one I made on the ice but the ongoing call that I finally responded to from the Holy Spirit; a call that led to a lively conversion of my heart and the richness of being received into his holy Catholic Church. God, in his infinite mercy and love, continues to call each one of us home to him in various ways. He places his shepherds on earth in our path to herd lost sheep like me and tend to his flock. God chose Bishop Tom Paprocki not just to stop pucks as the 'Holy Goalie' but most importantly as one of his special shepherds to save souls. As you hold this treasure in your hands I urge you to ask yourself if God is calling you at this very moment through these pages. Don't hesitate, because, like me, I assure you it will be the best call you can ever make!"

Kerry Fraser
Retired National Hockey League Referee

"Practical strategies for building a bridge between sports and faith."

Holy Goals for Body and Soul offers practical strategies for building a bridge between sports and faith. Sometimes sports teach the wrong lessons. When sports are done with an intentional connection to faith, our young people can discover and develop Christian virtues that thrive on the field and in their daily lives. Winning becomes living as a faithful disciple of Jesus. Thanks to Bishop Tom and his brother Joe for helping us keep our eye on the Gospel prize through sports. I do wonder: who won when they played against each other?”

Greg Dobie Moser
Former Executive Director, National CYO Sports
Member of the US Olympic Committee

"Our Catholic faith is so cool!"

“A bishop who runs marathons and plays hockey?! Our Catholic faith is so cool! Just as Jesus taught about the kingdom and the way to peace using familiar metaphors, Bishop Paprocki draws on our love of sports to teach essential truths of the faith. Holy Goals for Body and Soul integrates relatable physical objectives with practical spiritual progression, training readers to set their sights on the Lord. The only thing I loved more than his use of many sports themes is how exuberant and approachable he makes the office of bishop.”

Cindy Black
Director of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry
Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend

Purchase on Kindle.

Purchase on Nook.

Purchase on Kobo.