The Reverend Father Pavlo Popov
Fr. Pavlo came to St. Sophia parish in the Spring of 2011. He is married to Pani-matka Luba and together they have five children: Nicholas, Nadia, Sophia, Anastasia, and Mark. His personal interests include sports, literature, psychology, and biomedical ethics.

Before joining our parish, Father was a full-time chaplain at St. Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center (which is also where he did his clinical pastoral education residency) and he assisted at St. Nicholas cathedral in Chicago. During his years of hospital ministry, he worked in pediatrics, maternity, medical surgery and oncology units. His strengths of listening and compassion were undoubtedly refined through his chaplaincy work.

Born and raised in Kolomiya, Ukraine, he graduated from a minor law school there in 1997. He then received his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from St. Basil’s College, Ukrainian Catholic seminary in Stamford, CT in 2002. After two years at St. Joseph’s seminary in Yonkers, NY majoring in Theology, he moved to the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC from whom he received his STB (Sacred Theology Baccalaureate degree) in 2007. He was ordained to the subdiaconate in 2007, the diaconate in 2008 and the priesthood in 2009 by Bp. Richard Stephen (Seminack).

During his years in school, Fr. Pavlo was involved in various ministries including teaching catechism to third and fourth graders, working as a volunteer at the Catholic hospice for cancer patients, and being a spiritual counselor at a shelter for abused adults. In his role as parish administrator, Father now dedicates most of his time to the areas of parish growth, finances, and relations with the Ukrainian and other Catholic communities of the DFW area (both Eastern and Western). We are blessed to have him serving us!

The Reverend Father Frank Avant
We are thrilled that Fr. Frank has been able to return to St. Sophia along with his wife Panimatka Susan! She is a speech-language pathologist and they have two children together: Brandon and Erin.

Fr. Frank was born in Peru in 1951 and was baptized and raised in the Latin tradition. When he first encountered the Eastern Catholic Church as lived by Ukrainian Catholics, he fell in love with what he found and eventually petitioned and was granted a canonical change to the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

Attending seminary and formation via Immaculate Conception in Palatine, IL and St. John the Baptizer in La Mesa, California, his business travels brought him frequently through Dallas where he made St. Sophia a second home. After his ordination to the priesthood in May 2015, he served as administrator of St. Josaphat Church in Munster, Indiana and as vice-chancellor of the Eparchy of St. Nicholas. His health made him unable to sustain a full schedule of priestly ministry so he and Panimatka Susan retired to Dallas where we are abundantly blessed by their presence.

The Reverend Deacon John Novocilsky, Jr
Father Deacon John is a founding member of our parish who works in the mobile telecom industry. He is married to Gloria and together they have two grown sons (one of whom has special needs), two grand babies, and four spoiled cats. While he is far too humble to admit it, he is very knowledgeable about our traditions and his direct style lends itself to extemporaneous speaking especially in the areas of spiritual warfare, contemporary moral issues, and biomedical ethics.

The deacon was raised in western New York, the second of five children born to John and Parania (Peggy) Novocilsky, and served at the altar at St. Josephat’s Ukrainian Catholic Church as a youth. He traveled the world with the Marine Corps for 6 years then settled in the Dallas area following his service. It was here that he went to college at the University of Texas at Dallas, from whom he received his Economics & Finance degree, and also here that he met and married Gloria. He was active in his local Roman Catholic parish and volunteered with the food pantry, ministry to the disabled, and Knights of Columbus. One day, the Roman Catholic pastor pulled him aside and told him that he needed to go down to the Roman Catholic seminary in Dallas because his bishop was going to hold a Liturgy there. The pastor had taken note of the direction (Deacon) John made the Sign of the Cross and knew enough to notify him when the Eastern Catholic bishops met in a conference in Dallas!

Following that small Liturgy, the Houston priest drove up for monthly liturgies, which (Deacon) John was active in. As the attendance grew, the bishop sent a missionary priest who taught Eastern Theology at the seminary and held a weekly Divine Liturgy. It wasn’t long before (Deacon) John had gone from driving a bus for the disabled to driving the bishop around looking at church properties. He attended the Ukrainian Catholic seminary in Stamford, Connecticut and later discovered that when he was at the seminary, he stayed in the room adjacent to the room his own father stayed in after arriving from Germany at the end of World War II. Father Deacon John was ordained by Bishop Richard Stephen (Seminack) in 2007.

In addition to working, parenting, and his service on the altar, the reverend deacon is the Secretary for the Eparchial Sexual Review Board and he sits on the parish finance council. We are blessed to have him serving us!