Metropolitan

Metropolitan Archbishop – Most Reverend Stefan Soroka

 

Metropolitan Archbishop – Most Reverend Stefan Soroka

Date of Birth

November 13, 1951 in the City of Winnipeg, Province of Manitoba, CANADA.

Family Background

FATHER – IWAN SOROKA, born in Zablotce, Radymno region, Western Ukraine on May 19, 1920, deceased on September 5, 1993. MOTHER – ANNA GALEK, born in Szczurowa, Poland on October 15, 1920, deceased on September 3, 1973. Parents married in the Catholic Church in Austria, August 1945 and immigrated to Canada in 1951. Parents strongly devout Catholics, regularly participating in Church life and receiving the Sacraments of the Church. Life-long members of Ss. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral, Winnipeg.

Stefan Soroka, along with his only sibling twin brother, Joseph, were baptized and raised within the Ukrainian Catholic faith. His brother Joseph, a (retired) police officer in Winnipeg, is married to Dawn (Fewchuk) and has two children, Ann and John.

Education

  • Ph.D. of Philosophy (Social Work), May 1985, at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. Dissertation: “The Relationship between Organizational Stressors and Priests’ Perception of Stress.”
  • Bachelor of Sacred Theology (Pontifical Program), May 1982 at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
  • Seminary formation at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Seminary, Washington, D.C.
  • Master of Social Work, October, 1978 at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. Practicum: Group Counseling with Incarcerated Sex Offenders.
  • Bachelor of Social Work, May, 1973 at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.

Ordination

Installed as the sixth Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy for Philadelphia, and Metropolitan for Ukrainians in the United States of America on February 27, 2001, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Philadelphia, PA.

Consecrated as Auxiliary Bishop for the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, Canada, on June 13, 1996, at Ss. Vladimir and Olga Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, Winnipeg, by the Most Reverend Bzdel, CSsR (Metropolitan of Canada and Archbishop of the Winnipeg Archeparchy), Most Reverend Cornelius Pasichny (then Bishop of Saskatoon, Canada), and Most Reverend Walter Paska (then Auxiliary Bishop for the Philadelphia Archeparchy).

Ordained to the Holy Priesthood on June 13, 1982 at Ss. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral, Winnipeg, by the Most Reverend Maxim Hermaniuk, CSsR, Metropolitan for Ukrainians in Canada and Archbishop of Winnipeg.

Ecclesiastical Appointments

1. Member of Committee for Aid to Home Missions, USCCB, 2010-present.
2. Member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, 2001 – present.
3. Member of  Committee on Relations between Eastern and Latin Catholic Churches, USCCB, November 2003-2010.
4.
 Member of Task Force on Content and Flow of General Meeting, USCCB, June, 2003.
5. Member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse, USCCB, 2002 – 2009.
6. Member of the Permanent Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, 2002 – 2006.
7. Appointed by the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II as a participant in the Tenth Ordinary General Synod of Bishops, September 30th – October 27th, 2001. Theme: “The Bishop: Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Hope of the World.”
8. Member of Task Force to Establish Guidelines, USCCB, November, 2003.
9. Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General for the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg from June 13, 1996 – 2000.
10. Chairman of the Board of Directors, Asset Protection Group Insurance Corporation for Western and Northern Canada Dioceses/Eparchies, 1998 – 2000.
11. Member of CCCB Commission for Relations with Clergy, Consecrated Life and Lay Associations, 1997 – 2000.
12. Editor, Progress Ukrainian Catholic Newspaper, 1996 – 2000.
13. Chaplain, Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada (Winnipeg Archeparchy), 1998 – 2000.
14. Econome, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, 1994 – 1998.
15. Chancellor, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, 1994 – 1996.
16. Vice-Chancellor, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, 1985 – 1994.
17. Judge, Archieparchial Marriage Tribunal, 1984 – 1993.
18. State Chaplain, Knights of Columbus, Manitoba State Council, 1989 – 1992.
19. Vocations Director, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, 1985 – 2000.
20. Chaplain, National Executive, Ukrainian Catholic Youth of Canada, 1989 – 1992.
21. Manitoba Bishops’ Representative to the Catholic Health Association of Manitoba, 1988 – 1990.
22. Chaplain, St. Anne Council, Knights of Columbus, 1987 – 1995.
23. Chaplain, St. Josaphat Council, Knights of Columbus, 1986 – 1989, 1995 – 1997.

Parish Assignments

1. Parish Priest, St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church, Winnipeg, 1987 – 1995.
2. Parish Priest, Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption, Portage La Prairie, 1986 – 1987.
3. Assistant Priest, Blessed Virgin Mary, Winnipeg, 1984 – 1986.
4. Assistant Priest during period of studies, Holy Family Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine, Washington, D.C.

Work Experience

  • Social Worker, Probation Services of the Province of Manitoba, 1973 – 1979.
  •  Corrections Officer, Headingley Correctional Institute, Province of Manitoba, Winnipeg, 1971 – 1972.

Personal Orientation

Respond to challenge for renewal and learning opportunities.  Positive, hopeful and thankful in orientation.  Love to travel, to meet and enjoy the company of people, to grow together in our love for God and to celebrate the gift of life and faith.

Awards of Distinction

1. Presented “The St. Dominic Medal” by Dominican House of Studies, Washington, D.C., May 11, 2001

METROPOLITAN ARCHBISHOP STEFAN SOROKA

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS SINCE INSTALLATION AS ARCHBISHOP

Facilitated, organized and hosted the first meeting of the Synod of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in an eparchy outside of Ukraine, in the Archeparchy of Philadelphia, 2007.
Facilitated and organized Meeting of Ukrainian Catholic Clergy in USA with Patriarch Lubomyr Husar at time of re-dedication of St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Seminary, Washington, DC, 2005. The seminary was closed for one year to facilitate major renewal and updating.
Facilitated and organized Retreat of Ukrainian Catholic Clergy of USA in Hershey, PA, 2010, offered by then Most Rev. Sviatoslav Shevchuk Bishop Argentina, now Patriarch of our Church.
Facilitated and organized Conference of Ukrainian Catholic Clergy of USA, October, 2015 focusing on priestly renewal and use of giftedness, and offering pastoral preparation for pre-marriage and married couples.
Founder of ‘Treasury of Faith’ Museum in Philadelphia with assistance of the Missionary Sisters of the Mother of God.
Relocated and expanded the Byzantine Church Supply into present setting enabling it to become a major financial source of assistance for our seminary.
Facilitated periodic meetings of Religious Superiors of Ukrainian Catholic Church in USA including the celebration of Consecrated Life with Patriarch Sviatoslav in our Cathedral in November, 2015.
Hosted visit by Patriarch Sviatoslav to Washington, DC and to Philadelphia for the Blessing of newly prepared mosaics of Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky and Blessed Josaphata Hordashevska, SSMI in Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, Philadelphia.
Celebrated Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention in Philadelphia, August, 2015 – first in USA following Vancouver, BC, Canada in 1988.
Celebrant and concelebrant at Pennsylvania State Convention Masses.
Chairman of the Committee initiating “Vision 2020” for the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church under direction of then Patriarch Lubomyr Husar, and continuing to participate in its development under the direction of Patriarch Sviatoslav.
Member and Participant since founding of Religious Leaders Council of Philadelphia.
Initiated and participated in organization of Women’s Day annual workshops facilitated by Sisters of the Order of St. Basil the Great, Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate, Missionary Sisters of Mother of God, together with committee of lay women.
Initiated and participated in periodic meetings of Ukrainian Catholic Hierarchs of USA and Canada with Ukrainian Orthodox Hierarchs of Canada and USA.
Shared in initiation and participated in organizing of Region 15 of United States Catholic Conference of Bishops for Eastern Catholic Eparchies.
Spoke on behalf of Eastern Catholic Eparchs gathered with Pope Benedict XVI in ‘ad limina’ visit of Region 15 of United States Catholic Conference of Bishops Rome, May, 2012.
Participated in organization and facilitating of periodic Encounters of Eastern Catholic Churches held in USA since 1999.
Oversaw renewal and updating of Ascension Manor Towers, Archeparchy of Philadelphia, incorporating social space and program space for residents.
Participating in planning and dedication of Ukrainian American Veterans’ National Monument at South Bound Brook, NJ.
Met with Pope John Paul II after episcopal ordination in 1996; met with Pope John Paul II on successive occasions as member of Permanent Synod with Patriarch Husar, and in ‘ad limina’ visit accompanied by Bishop Walter Paska.
Participated in Funeral Mass of Pope John Paul II and in Mass of Canonization of Saint John Paul.
Met with then Cardinal/Archbishop of Argentina and now Pope Francis, during meeting of Permanent Synod in Argentina with Patriarch Lubomyr Husar.
Met with Pope Benedict XVI in meeting of Ukrainian Catholic Hierarchs in Vatican City; Concelebrated Papal Masses in Washington, Dc., New York City during visit by Pope Benedict XVI to USA.
Concelebrated Papal Masses during visit by Pope Francis to Washington, DC and in Philadelphia, PA, September, 2015. Met with Pope Francis during his talk and visit at St. Borromeo Seminary.
Acquired the 9th copy of the Shroud of Turin for veneration by faithful in USA in April, 2010.
Issued Pastoral Letter for Jubilee Year of Mercy announced by Pope Francis, assigning various parishes as sites for special visitation and concelebrating a special Opening of the Doors of Mercy at Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Philadelphia.
Acquired in 2015 holy relics of Blessed Mykola Charnetsky, CSsR. for veneration in specially written icons, one of which to remain in the Ukrainian Cathedral and the other to travel throughout the Archeparchy for veneration and for prayers for healing of the sick.
Organized and facilitated three Archieparchial Sobors involving clergy, religious and parish faithful in assessing the needs of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia and offering recommendations for its renewal.
Oversaw renewal of THE WAY and its being offered by email for expanded distribution of the evangelization efforts and programs of the Archeparchy.
Organized with Ukrainian community representatives major events of prayer for Ukraine in times of special needs; for commemoration of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident; for commemoration of the victims of the ‘Holodomor’ or Planned Famine in Ukraine in 1932-33.

Facilitated humanitarian aid for needs in Ukraine, among them psychological and medical assistance for victims of the ‘Maidan’ in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Participation in the annual Archieparchial Pilgrimages offered at the monastery of the Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great in Fox Chase, PA, on the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God; and in the annual pilgrimage offered by the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate in Sloatsburg, NY, on the Feast of Dormition of the Mother of God.
Participate in various annual Ukrainian festivals at Lehighton and at Tryzub in Horsham, PA.
Initiated annual Christmas Carol Celebration at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Initiated and sponsor annual Christmas Clergy and Family Reception at Bishops’ Residence.
Co-consecrator of various Ukrainian Catholic bishops in Ukraine, Brazil, and USA.
In last 15 years, 8 parishes closed; 2 mission parishes closed; one parish opened; three mission parishes opened; four new churches blessed; four of seven day schools closed; one nursery school closed.
Oversaw the purchase and the removal of former hospital building located next to Bishops’ Residence, enabling future development site for potential housing to attract Ukrainians and others who are planning to relocate in downtown Philadelphia.
Coordinated the move of the Cathedral Rectory and Chancery facilities into underutilized space in the former school and convent buildings next to the Cathedral, enabling the rental of present facilities to generate income.
Became a Naturalized Citizen of the United States of America, March 19, 2013.
Led Archieparchial tour to see the Passion play at Oberammergau, Germany, July 2010.