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STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] Archpriest Igor Soroka (STOTS Class of 1946) was recently featured in a news story focusing on his 58 years of ministry at St. Nicholas Church, Donora, Pennsylvania! You can see the story here, including this photo (by Nate Guidry) from the story, written by Peter Smith, of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
Fr. Igor was one of four sons born to the Very Reverend Mitred Gregory and Matushka Anastasia Soroka. Fr. Gregory originally came to this country as a choir director! Two of Fr. Igor’s brothers were also ordained priests: Archpriest Vladimir and Leonid. Though his two brothers have passed away, the Soroka family members were prolific in setting Orthodox services into English chant settings that for generations were used broadly across the Orthodox Church in America! One of the photos accompanying this story is that of the cover of the “Red Soroka Vespers book” in print for many years!
Fr. Igor entered seminary, graduating from St. Tikhon’s Seminary in 1946. Following his graduation he continued serving as a choir director, where he met his wife Irene. They were married, had four children, and Matushka Irene passed away in 2004. Fr. Igor and Mat. Irene began serving at St. Nicholas Church, Donora, Pennsylvania, on December 1, 1959. This was his first, and only, parish assignment! Now at age 91 he is thinking about retirement.
Even though continuing his service to the St. Nicholas parish, Fr. Igor continued his service as a church musician, as did a number of clergy who had musical talent. He was the director of the Cathedral Choir of the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. He retired as director after 50 years of service in 2013. (See this story here, including the story and photo by Emma Jene Lelik.)
Archpriest Steven Voytovich, seminary dean, recalled encountering the Soroka family and many other church musicians while participating in the annual choir conferences at St.Vladimir’s Camp in Farmdale, Ohio: “These choir conferences were an inspiration to me in the 1980’s as a young church musician, encouraged by my parish priest and choir director to attend!”
In honor of Fr. Igor’s many years of service to our Orthodox Church in America, he was one of the inaugural recipients of the St. Romanos Award in 2014. Fr. Igor’s service (and that of his family) to our Orthodox Church in America is exemplary! May his service and dedication inspire many more young men to step forward to serve our church.
May God grant many blessed years to Archpriest Igor Soroka!