Archdiocese of Pittsburgh
and Western Pennsylvania
Orthodox Church in America
Welcome to Our Archdiocesan Website

The Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania was established in 1916 as a missionary diocese to reach out to the scattered sheep of our Lord in Western Pennsylvania, to proclaim to the faith of the Apostles and bring them to the light of Truth.  Our Archdiocese has been blessed by God to have had the holy honor of St. Patriarch Tikhon, the Holy Hierarch Raphael and the martyred Priest Vasily Martyz serve within her midst. The Archdiocese has been established through their holy efforts, and those of the hierarchs, reverend clergy and faithful laity over the years.

Archdiocesan Newsletter for Summer/Fall 2016

NEWS! Donora Parish 100th Anniversary!

DONORA, PA – On July 23-24, 2016, St. Nicholas Orthodox Church of Donora will observe its 100th anniversary. In commemoration of this historic event, St. Nicholas Orthodox Church is planning a weekend of services and social events that will bring together current and former parishioners, visiting clergy and other guests from the Pittsburgh area and across the country.

 The centennial celebration will begin on Saturday, July 23, at 6 p.m. with a Vespers service. A reception and open house will follow in the Church Hall.

 On Sunday, July 24 at 9:30 a.m., His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania (Orthodox Church in America), will concelebrate at a Divine Liturgy and Service of Thanksgiving, along with the Very Rev. Igor Soroka (pastor of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church) and several other clergy. Following the services, light refreshments will be served in the Church Hall. The festivities will conclude Sunday evening, with a Grand Banquet at the Willow Room in Belle Vernon, Pa.

 St. Nicholas Orthodox Church was established in 1916 by a group of 15 immigrant families from Russia and several other Eastern European countries. Initially, the congregation gathered for services in a tiny basement church on Eighth Street and McKean Avenue in Donora. The new and present church was erected in 1951, at the intersection of St. Nicholas Drive and Lucretia Avenue, then a new parish rectory was added in 1963.

 St. Nicholas Orthodox Church remains as one of the few existing styles of old Russian Orthodox architecture. It features a bell tower flanked by two rows of arches and a large onion-shaped dome with a three-bar Russian Orthodox cross. The church also is adorned with a wide variety of Orthodox icons and murals that were painted by several nationally renowned iconographers.

 Fr. Igor Soroka, who has served as pastor of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church since 1959, noted that the parishioners experienced many difficult challenges but overcame these obstacles because of their strong faith and perseverance.

 “Our founders were men and women who were mostly new to life in America,” said Fr. Soroka. “It was difficult for them to adjust to a different language and culture. But they always had that spark of hope and belief that God would hear their prayer. During our anniversary celebration, we will reflect on various past events and the way our church has touched so many lives over the years. We invite the public to join us for this momentous and joyous occasion.”

 Fr. Soroka is assisted by Deacon Robert Motichak (attached); Dimitri Petro, M.D., director of the church choir; and Nick Milchovich, president of the church council. 

NEWS! 2016 Small Parish Forum Concludes!

Attendees at Third Small Parish Forum Canton OH July 14-16
Attendees at Third Small Parish Forum Canton OH July 14-16
Attendees at Third Small Parish Forum Canton OH July 14-16
2016 Small Parish Forum Concludes

Fifty-four individuals representing parishes from five dioceses of the Orthodox Church in America, as well as the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, participated in the Small Parish Forum at Holy Assumption Church Canton OH July 14-16, 2016.

Jointly sponsored by the Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of the Midwest and Diocese of Western Pennsylvania, the Forum — the third in a series initiated in 2014 — had as its theme “The Small Parish: Possibilities and Opporunities in Worshipping, Caring, Teaching and Sharing.”  The program was facilitated by Joseph Kormos, Parish Development Ministry Leader for the Diocese of Western Pennsylvania.

His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania and His Grace, Bishop Paul of Chicago and the Midwest welcomed the participants and offered their insights throughout the three-day gathering.  Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary, delivered the keynote address, titled “The Critical Role of the Small Parish: The Apostolic Work.”  He also offered a workshop titled “The Evangelizing Parish.”


Among the other presenters were

  • Priest Justin Patterson, Rector of Saint Athanasius Church, Nicholasville, KY, who offered insights about youth and education in his presentation titled “The Eight Person Sunday School and Four Person Youth Group: Making Things Work When You’re Small.”
  • Priest Daniel Mathewson, Rector of Saints Peter and Paul Church, Edinboro/Crossingville, PA, who encouraged participants to look beyond their walls during an interactive session titled “Inside Out, Outside In: Seven Keys to Understanding Your Parish Neighborhood.”
  • Archpriest Peter Baktis, Rector of the Mother of God, Joy of All Who Sorrow Mission, Princeton, NJ, who moderated a panel discussion titled “The Tentmaker” that took a serious look at the positives and challenges of bi-vocational clergy in small parishes.
  • Archpriest Marc Vranes, Rector of Holy Trinity Church, Willimantic, CT, shared renewal efforts in his small heritage parish.  A similar presentation was offered via live remote link by Priest Jonathan Bannon, Rector of Christ the Saviour Church [ACROD], Rockford, IL.
  • Benedict Sheehan, Music Director at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary, offered sessions titled ‘Singing in Small Ensembles: Tips from the Field” and “With One Heart and One Mouth: Building Beautiful Church Music in a Small Parish.”

Mr. Kormos also facilitated a number of workshops on related themes.

Materials from the Forum can be found here.

Archdiocesan Calendar

(Printing Instructions)
St. Cyril of White Lake Food Pantry

With the blessing of His Grace, Bishop MELCHISEDEK, St. Cyril of White Lake Food Pantry has opened at Holy Assumption of St. Mary Orthodox Church, 105 S. 19th St. Pittsburgh, PA.  The Food Pantry is open on Thursdays from 5:45pm to 6:45pm, and as needed by appointment to meet the needs of the poor and homeless of the City of Pittsburgh. 

For more information, please visit the St. Cyril of White Lake Food Pantry Page