Catching up with Fr. Popovich as he celebrates 40 years of service in the Valley

Local News

LIBERTY, Ohio (WKBN) – For 40 years, Fr. Steve Popovich has served many parishes in the Valley. Even after being left paralyzed in an accident, he still continues to spread good words through his faith.

Fr. Popovich began his interview with reporter Jacob Thompson around the garden that sits outside his window at Windsor House in Liberty. The garden is dedicated to those at the home who have suffered and died from COVID-19. He was giving it a blessing.

“We pray. Our Father, who art in Heaven…”

Fr. Popovich was ordained as a priest in June 1981. Fr. George Popovich, his uncle, and the community at St. Matthias Church in Youngstown, where he grew up, were Fr. Popovich’s inspirations.

“Yes, to the Lord’s will, this is where I am today,” Fr. Popovich said.

Over the last 40 years, his faith has stayed the same, although many other things have changed.

“Life is full of adjustments. The people who survive in life are people who adjust,” Fr. Popovich said.

An accident in November 2013 left Fr. Popovich paralyzed from the waist down. He has had to adjust to getting around.

Ever since then, he still celebrates Mass and holds prayer services.

While he admits some days are harder than others, Fr. Popovich still pushes through and continues to have a sense of humor.

Thompson: “Since your accident, what has kept you going?”
Fr. Popovich: “The chair.”

Fr. Popovich said he misses the people.

Thompson asked him what he’s most proud of after 40 years and he said making it one day at a time.

Fr. Popovich’s piece of advice for anyone who might be going through what he’s going through? He refers back to the Bible.

“And Jesus says, you’ve got to trust me.”

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