"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16
Folk Choir Director, St. Peter Church
Andrew Paul Sopko
Born – March 30, 1945 Somebody was celebrating the end of World War 2, I think, 03/30/45 was also Good Friday.
I was born at St. Catherine Hospital in the Indiana Harbor section of East Chicago, In.
I am what is commonly known as a Cradle Catholic.
I attended Assumption parochial school and Bishop Noll High School.
While at Assumption I was an altar server and the assistant Pastor was forming a boy’s choir in the parish. I joined but after a short period was asked to leave because of my voice. Not sure what that was about but I never sang again.
After that I briefly attend St. Joseph College in East Chicago but quickly found out I was not college material.
I worked at Youngstown and Inland Steel Companies.
In 1965 the Viet Nam war was raging and I got drafted but was sent to Korea for a yearlong tour of duty.
Upon completion of my military duty I settled in the Miller section of Gary, In and attended St. Mary of the Lake Parish.
From there it was onto Hobart, In and my first house and a couple of kids and St. Bridget’s parish.
Other than my involvement at Assumption parish I really was not involved at the other parishes that I attended. I was a pew potato, I fulfilled my obligation.
From there it was on to Valpariso and St. Paul’s parish.
It was there that the Lord said, “Enough sitting, Andrew, I’ve got work for you to do”.
St. Paul’s had a Folk Choir, as it was called, because of the guitars and it was the 60’s and acoustic music was the IN thing. I was about 35 years old back then. There was a singer that came onto the scene at the time called John Denver and I fell in love with his songs and style of singing. I couldn’t hold back anymore and the Lord was really calling this time. I joined the Folk Choir but it took me a very long time to find confidence in my voice, after all I was kicked out of a choir.
After a number of years it was onto La Porte because of a job change.
We tried various parishes to try and find a good fit and again a Folk Choir drew me to St. Peter’s but not for a very long time. We started going to St. Mary of the Lake in New Buffalo, Mi for about 4 years. We eventually came back to La Porte and St. Peter’s to find our place in the community.
I did join the Folk Choir and about 10 years ago, due to circumstances I became the Folk Choir Coordinator. I don’t see myself as a director because I can’t read music or play an instrument but God called and I answered and He has guided me and blessed me with some very talented and giving people over those years.
Our music is a ministry to the congregation of St. Peter’s and to where the Lord calls us to minister to his people. Our sole purpose is to praise God in song and lead the congregation. I emphasize that point to the choir often.
Our song selection not only reflects the reading in the liturgy but we try our best to have it a source of prayer.