1896-01-26 - NY Press illustration of interior of NY Syrian chapel

St Raphael’s Original New York Chapel

St Raphael Hawaweeny arrived in New York City in 1895, and he immediately established a chapel for his growing community of Arab Orthodox Christians. The chapel was located at 77 Washington Street in Manhattan, right next to the Syrian Maronites’ own chapel. The Orthodox chapel, called St Nicholas, was a very modest affair, a low-ceilinged,…

Bishop Raphael Hawaweeny, 1905 (Wilson's Photographic Magazine)

A Timeline of the Life of St Raphael

A Brief Timeline of the Life of St Raphael Hawaweeny 1860 – Born in Beirut in November (family returned to Damascus the next year) 1874 – Tonsured reader 1877 – Worked as a middle school and 5th grade teacher (1877-79) 1879 – Tonsured a monk; appointed assistant to Patriarch of Antioch – Entered theological school at…

Fr. Joseph Xanthopoulos as a young priest (from the website of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Wilkes-Barre, PA)

Recollections of My Grandfather: Fr. Joseph Xanthopoulos

Editor’s note: In June, I published a biography of Fr. Joseph Xanthopoulos, an remarkable (and even saintly) Greek priest who first served in an Antiochian parish under St. Raphael before eventually joining the Greek Archdiocese. Fr. Joseph’s story is both amazing and inspiring, and the more I learn about him, the more impressed I am.…

Embassy, Emigrants, and Englishmen: A Review

Review of Christopher Birchall. Embassy, Emigrants, and Englishmen: The Three Hundred Year History of a Russian Orthodox Church in London. Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Publications, 2014. In Embassy, Emigrants, and Englishmen, Christopher Birchall has produced the definitive history of Russian Orthodox presence in London. The book is unlikely to be surpassed in the near future…

St. Raphael Hawaweeny in 1890, as head of the Antiochian metochion in Moscow

A History of the Antiochian Representation Church in Moscow

Since 1848, the Patriarchate of Antioch has had a “metochion,” or representation church (basically an church embassy) in Moscow. Immediately before he came to America, St. Raphael Hawaweeny served as head of the metochion. Earlier this year, the must-read blog Notes on Arab Orthodoxy published a brief history of the metochion and an interview with…

We Must Have A Bishop

The following editorial appeared in the Saloniki-Greek Press (a Greek-American newspaper) on Feb. 28, 1914. At the time, there was no Greek bishop in America. Until 1908, the Greek parishes were loosely tied to either the Ecumenical Patriarchate or the Church of Greece, but in 1908, the Ecumenical Patriarchate issued a Tomos transferring its jurisdiction in…