A life in full bloom in our community was struck down suddenly at the age of 57. Without warning, Fr. Paul Paproski was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease Nov. 27, 2019. It cleared up the mystery of why he was limping that summer with his left leg and unable to get up when he fell. After many months of suffering, he died on Jan. 28 in the Humboldt Hospital.
Fr. Paul was pastor of St. Peter’s Parish in Muenster for five years. Ordained on Aug. 12, 2006 at the same Muenster cathedral, Fr. Paul lived at St. Peter’s Abbey and served in a number of surrounding parishes as pastor or assistant. Muenster was his last assignment and during his term the chapel in Muenster was sold and he celebrated daily mass at the Wolverine Heights retirement home.
Born in Lanigan to Ardel and Freda Paproski in 1963, he moved with his family to Hudson Bay, Sask. in 1971. He grew up there with his brother Perry and his sisters Gwen and Glenda. Fr. Paul took a degree in journalism after high school. He then worked as editor of the Hudson Bay Review for seven years before joining St. Peter’s Abbey in 1998.
He was the first St. Peter’s monk to study philosophy and theology at St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, PA. St. Vincent’s is the mother abbey of the St. Peter’s community that was first founded in 1892 near Wetaug, Ill. and transferred to Muenster in 1903. In his studies he specialized in monastic history.
At St. Peter’s Abbey, Fr. Paul put his talents to work in a variety of ways. His artistic photographs adorn many rooms and hallways. He taught in the formation program and served as junior master for many years. He became involved with engaged encounter weekends at the abbey. He got his master’s degree in Canadian history from the University of Saskatchewan. He headed the abbey Oblate program and published a newsletter for them and also edited the abbey newsletter. He worked as campus minister in the Men in Black program for the students at St. Peter’s College.
Fr. Paul had a quiet and shy personality which attracted many people to his ministry.