Archive for September, 2010
Editor’s note: 106 years ago tomorrow — and almost exactly one year before the Battle of Pacific Street — St. Raphael officiated at a wedding in St. Louis. The English bride and Arab groom had a rather romantic backstory, and the wedding took place at the imitation Holy Sepulchre in the “Jerusalem” exhibit at the St. Louis World’s Fair. The newspaper article below appeared in the Bellingham Herald (10/1/1904). After the article, I’ll offer some additional information and commentary.
It was a great event, this marriage of a fair haired English girl and dark-skinned Syrian. In Jerusalem at the World’s Fair every one was in gala attire. There was a sea of [...] color. The Turk, resplendent in flowing silken robes with red tarbouche on head; the Syrian, in gold broidered jacket and trousers of ample proportions; the solemn-visaged Jew and the white-burnoused Arab sheik from the Saharan desert, were assembled to do the couple honor.
The wedding was the culmination of a romantic courtship which was not without its thorny side. The bride, Miss Ethel Thomas of Hanley York, England, met the hero of the romance while a tourist in the Holy Land. Under the warm skies of Palestine their love grew apace, and while the intelligent dragoman waxed eloquent over many a hoary rum his glances were all for the pretty English girl. The other members of the party decided that the attentions of the swarthy guide were too pointed and demanded his removal. Whether it was pity engendered by his dismissal or real affection, the spirited girl determined to leave the party. She joined another, always with the faithful Najib Ghazal as the dragoman. When the tour was over, Miss Thomas returned to the bosom of her family. Her swarthy adorer quickly followed and asked the father of the damsel for her hand. This was refused, and the family offered violent opposition. Mr. Ghazal was under contract to appear as a guide in Jerusalem at the World’s Fair, and was forced to sail without his bride to be. Finally the matter was adjusted, and Miss Thomas sailed to New York, where she was met by her faithful lover. He saw Archbishop Hawawini of Brooklyn, the high primate of the Greek church in the United States, who consented to come to St. Louis in order to unite the pair. The ceremony was inaugurated with all of the state incident to the Greek ritual. The marriage took place in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
The bride and her only bridesmaid or shabinat, were attired in white. The bride, with a hat instead of the conventional bridal veil, led the procession, the groom and groomsmen, or shabins, following. In the regular Syrian service it is the custom for the groomsmen to carry the groom, holding him high above the bride during the ceremony. This is to signify the lower position of the wife in the household, for in Oriental countries she is quite a subordinate being. The air was redolent with the perfume of flowers, the air was heavy with aromatic incense, the guests held painted and blessed wax candles, the lights dancing like ingnus fatui in the semi-gloom of the church. These holy tapers are preserved as mementoes. The bride and groom also held two artistically ornamented candles. During the ceremony the priest asks the couple all sorts of trying questions, as for instance, he demands of the bride whether she will promise to bear every vicissitude with loving patience and be ever faithful to her lord and master. He asks the groom whether he will provide a comfortable home and always be kind to his wife. Of course, they signify their consent. There is much chanting during the service, accompanied with profound genuflexions. It is in Arabic. Long and tedious but of picturesque grandeur is the Greek wedding ritual. The priest places upon the fingers of the couple two silver rings linked together with a slender chain, emblematic of their eternal union. The chain is then severed and the golden wedding ring placed upon the fingers of both. Still kneeling the couple drink holy wine from the same cup and partake of the sacrificial bread. This is to signify the union of the blood of life, the bread typifies the flesh. Lastly a cup of water is drunk, which is emblematic of the washing away of all impurity.
When the bridal party emerged from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a silver clarinet played a triumphal bridal march. The newly married pair threw nickels and bon bons to the crowd who scrambled for the largess.
Before entering her home provided for her the bride flings a piece of dough upon the portal. If it sticks it is regarded as a happy omen, but if it does not dire misfortune is predicted by the wise women.
Mr. and Mrs. Najib Ghazal will remain in St. Louis until the conclusion of the exposition, as Mr. Ghazal is employed as a dragoman in Jerusalem.
The betrothal of a Syrian couple is entirely the affair of the parents, the prospective bride and groom having nothing whatever to do with it. It is not even considered good form for the young man to see the face of the young woman. He must be content with the description of his mother or the professional matchmaker. What a number of disappointments there must be in store. The burden of providing a trousseau for the bride rests upon the groom. Even though he belongs to the middle class and is not the possessor of great wealth, he must send not less than twenty silk dresses to his bride, also ten gold or silver necklaces, diamond earrings and brooches. This is a provident proceeding, for the groom if disenchanted may abandon the bride the next day; in this case he leaves her well provided with the wherewithal to entrap another husband. The bride must always be subject to her mother-in-law, as it is the Syrian custom not to provide a separate home. This is a survival of patriarchal or rather matriarchal domination which prevails in most Oriental nations.
Prior to the marriage ceremony the friends of the groom take him to the nearest bath house and scrub him thoroughly, the prospective bridesmaids doing the same for the bride. Instead of the butter knives, pickle dishes and assortment of heterogeneous objects presented to the American bride, relatives and friends send offering[s] of money. This is in reality money loaned without interest, as the exact sums must be returned to each donor upon their marriage. Every guest proffers two cakes of soap, and when the pair have a number of relatives and friends, there is often sufficient soap to last a lifetime.
This article’s description of the Orthodox wedding is… well, curious. I am by no means an expert on Orthodox wedding practices, but I am an Arab Orthodox Christian myself, and I was married a traditional Orthodox ceremony in the Antiochian Archdiocese. I’ve attended numerous other Orthodox weddings — all here in the United States, which does limit my exposure, but still — and I’ve never heard of a groom being hoisted into the air by groomsmen during the wedding service. It’s also not clear what, exactly this St. Louis couple consumed. My wife and I partook of wine in the “common cup.” In the distant past, I understand that the Eucharist itself was used. But this St. Louis couple apparently was given, separately, wine, bread, and water. And then there are the questions — the wife was asked whether she would “be ever faithful to her lord and master,” and the husband whether he would “provide a comfortable home,” etc. But in my experience, the husband and wife are only asked one question apiece — whether they have come with a “free and unconstrained will” to be joined to the other person. If any of our readers have insight into what was going on at this St. Louis wedding, please let me know.
I did some further digging to learn more about Najib Ghazal and Ethel Thomas. Najib arrived at Ellis Island on May 1, 1904, having sailed from Liverpool aboard the Lucania. He is listed on the ship manifest as “Nagib E. Ghazal,” a single 30-year-old Syrian. His reported residence is London. Ethel was about 22 at the time of her wedding. After the World’s Fair, they remained in the United States; presumably, both became naturalized US citizens. They moved around quite a bit — the US Censuses have them in Brooklyn in 1910, San Francisco in 1920, and Detroit in 1930. As best I can tell, the couple had one child, George, who lived from 1906 to 1984. That’s all I’ve been able to find on the family, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of their descendants still live in the Detroit area. — Matthew Namee
Fr. Misael Karydis is one of many odd, mysterious figures from early American Orthodox history. We’ve discussed him at length in past articles. He was the longtime pastor of Holy Trinity Church in New Orleans, from 1881 until his suicide in 1901, and besides his pastoral work, he was apparently something of an inventor. Among the unexpected facts of Karydis’ life is that he was reportedly neither Greek (the dominant ethnicity in the New Orleans parish) nor Russian, nor Syrian, nor Serbian. According to all the sources I’ve seen, he was, of all things, Bulgarian — a nationality that, even today, represents a minuscule proportion of American Orthodoxy. Needless to say, if Karydis was, in fact, from Bulgaria, he represents the first Bulgarian priest ever to set foot in America.
Recently, I stumbled onto the 1900 US Census record containing Karydis’ information. (And just to be thorough, he was in the 6th Ward of New Orleans, Supervisor’s District 1, Enumeration District 60, Sheet 7, Line 74.) Fr. Misael’s last name (another ambiguity, as it’s listed in various sources as “Karydis” and “Kalitski”) is reported in the census as something like “Rache” or maybe “Kachi.” Or something else — the census entries are handwritten, and the census employee who recorded Fr. Misael’s name didn’t have the best penmanship. (See the above image.)
According to the census, Fr. Misael was indeed born in Bulgaria, of Bulgarian parents, in October of 1847 — making him 53 at the time of his death. He came to America in 1880, but never obtained US citizenship. His occupation is listed simply as “priest.”
[This article was written by Matthew Namee.]
As we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks, in September 1905, New York’s Syrian community was on the brink of war. On one side were the Orthodox, who rallied around their bishop, St. Raphael Hawaweeny. The saint himself opposed violence — both violent acts and violent words — but his attempts to intervene only exacerbated the problem. On the other side were the Maronites — the Roman Catholic Syrians. These were led by a group known as the “Champagne Glass Club,” which included the influential Arabic newspaper editor and Lebanese nationalist Naoum Mokarzel.
The first acts of violence took place on Friday, August 15, when about a score of Syrian men scuffled in the colony’s business center. By Monday, tensions had reached a breaking point. That afternoon, three Syrians had a dust-up and were arrested. Then, at 7 o’clock that night, an Orthodox merchant named Nicolo Abousamra boarded a ferry boat. Two men attacked him with a stick, leaving a nasty lump on his head. Abousamra thought that they had a dagger, but he was able to escape to a more crowded part of the boat.
Abousamra made it home, where he told his business partner Sakir Nassar about the attack. According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (9/19/1905), “they decided that it might be as well to have the bishop call on them last night and talk the thing over. For they felt sure that there were assassins lurking about to kill the bishop and they wanted to warn him and plan some form of protection.” Though it was by now the dead of night, Nassar hurried off to find St. Raphael. As it turned out, the bishop already had a bodyguard with him: “for the bishop has been worrying about the shadows that lurk about him when he goes abroad, and it is his habit to take some of his parishioners along with him when he goes out at night” (Eagle). St. Raphael went at once to visit Abousamra, and at least some of his accompanying parishioners were armed.
St. Raphael and his entourage never made it to Abousamra’s. St. Raphael lived at 320 Pacific Street. Abousamra was at 114 Pacific. On the way, the St. Raphael’s party had to pass by 137 Pacific — the home of none other than Naoum Mokarzel. For his part, Mokarzel had conveniently invited a dozen friends over, and at least some of these friends were packing heat. (None of the sources say so, but I strongly suspect that Mokarzel’s friends were the other members of the Champagne Glass Club.)
Why did St. Raphael go to the home of his arch-enemy in the middle of the night? The New York Sun (9/19) reported that Raphael got the rather wild idea that, if only he could sit down with Mokarzel and talk face-to-face, they could make peace and end all the violence. Alternatively, the Orthodox parishioners may have taken the initiative to go to Mokarzel’s house, and St. Raphael may have joined them in an effort to prevent a fight. Another very plausible explanation is offered by St. Raphael himself, and appeared in the New York World (9/19):
I have enemies who are seeking to kill me. I have been warned time and again that I will be assassinated and for many weeks I have not dared to leave my home unaccompanied at night. Whenever I go out I get several of my parishioners to go with me and this was the case last night when I went out to visit a sick friend.
Neither I nor those with me had any part in the riot, nor did we make an attack upon the home of Mr. Makarzoe [sic]. We were passing peaceably through Pacific street when the shooting began. I am convinced that it was a feigned pistol duel, with the purpose of murdering me by hitting me with what would appear to be a stray bullet.
One reason it’s hard to get a handle on what happened is the fact that the newspapers don’t agree with each other. The Sun reports that St. Raphael and several parishioners went into Mokarzel’s house and spent about an hour there in a relatively peaceful meeting. Things eventually turned violent, the meeting broke up, and a shootout began. At least, that’s the Sun‘s story.
The New York Times‘ version of events basically follows St. Raphael’s story. According to the Times, “The minute the Hawaweeny party entered [Mokarzel's house] the fight began. It was rough and tumble in the parlor for a few minutes, and then the combatants went to the street and fought there.” No hour-long meeting in this version. Honestly, I think the Times, rather than the Sun, has it right. Consider the facts:
- It was nearly midnight.
- The Orthodox were on their way to visit an assault victim, Abousamra.
- St. Raphael and his followers believed that assassins were after him.
- There were a dozen Orthodox men, some of whom were armed.
- There were a dozen Maronite men, some of whom were armed.
- The two groups hated each other’s guts.
I say there’s no way in the world, under those circumstances, that a dozen Orthodox men could have approached Mokarzel’s house — full of armed Maronites — and not had an immediate fight. St. Raphael’s story sounds reasonable, and I’m inclined to believe him.
In any event, a moment or an hour after the Orthodox group passed by Mokarzel’s house, a gunfight broke out. Here is how the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (9/19) describes the scene:
It was clearly a pitched battle, for the combatants were dancing about, here and there, taking refuge when they could and again take pot shots at each other. There were others on the street in addition to the combatants, some of hte men from the nearby house of the fire patrol, and Captain Cashman, the head of the fire patrol company. The men of the patrol were gingerly trying to stop the shooting, and when the uniformed policeman appeared ran in with him and put the shooters to flight.
The police officer — a fellow named Mallon – had heard the shots, and bravely rushed into the battle. Police reinforcements soon arrived, and the Battle of Pacific Street finally ended. About twenty shots had been fired, but fortunately, no one died and only two men were injured.
Officer Mallon (whose name has as many spellings as New York had newspapers) saw one of the Syrians “running for all he was worth” (Times) away from the fight, and he chased after the man. As it turns out, this was none other than St. Raphael himself.
Soon enough, Officer Mallon caught up to the bishop and arrested him. According to the officer, St. Raphael brandished a revolver and even tried to pull the trigger. St. Raphael vehemently denied this, and said that he had never even handled a gun in his life, and would never do such a thing. This issue — whether St. Raphael assaulted a policeman with a gun and whether he lied about it afterwards — is so serious and significant that I want to explore it in great detail in another article.
Most of the Syrian fighters escaped, but several were arrested and locked in jail. Some women tried to bail out St. Raphael, but the magistrate said that, for the time being, the bishop was safer behind bars than out in public. The physical battle was over, but St. Raphael’s fight for his reputation, and his freedom, had just begun.
[This article was written by Matthew Namee.]
Editor’s note: The following article appeared in multiple newspapers (including the New York Sun and the Washington Post) on July 30, 1905 — just a couple of weeks before New York’s Syrian community became embroiled in a very public, very messy war between Orthodox and Maronites. In light of that controversy, this article’s statement, “They are preeminently law abiding” is rather ironic.
“What an enchanting vase!” said a buyer in an uptown bric-a-brac shop, as she paused before an enameled copper jar of simple, artistic shape.
“Syrian: fifteen dollars,” explained the accommodating salesman.
“Come away,” murmured the friend. “I will show you where you can buy the same thing for half the price; and rugs and embroideries and brasses and —”
The initiated one led the would-be buyer to a most inartistic and unromantic quarter in the lower part of the city — no section of New York could seem less likely to reveal mysteries of the Orient; yet, under the guidance of one who knows, it yields treasures. Enter a dismal little room perhaps 10 by 12 feet, and you see only rows of shelves filled with folded cloth. Ask to see embroideries, and the gorgeousness of the East is unrolled before you.
Sometimes you may name your own price, sometimes not. The Syrian is canny, and it is up to the buyer to be his own judge of values; but in every case an American merchant would charge more for the same thing.
Much has been published regarding the Syrians in New York which they resent as inaccurate and unjust. They say that they have often been misunderstood, or, worse yet, wilfully misrepresented, in order to make a picturesque or sensational story.
“The Syrians who have come to America to live have one chief object — to become good American citizens.”
This is, in effect, the declaration of every Syrian, high or low, rich or poor, who is questioned as to his life in America. There are about 70,000 Syrians in the United States and Canada and 6,000 in and around New York.
The pioneer Syrians were regarded by Americans with deep distrust, and some of that feeling remains to this day. Poverty forced the humbler ones who wished to live in New York into an undesirable quarter of the city — Washington, Carlisle, Rector streets, West Broadway and vicinity and the poorer parts of Brooklyn and Jersey City. Even now, when there are many Syrians here who can well afford good apartments and houses, the prejudice is so strong that landlords in the better districts refuse to accept them as tenants.
The Syrians are the product of tyranny in their own country, and it has developed at least an outward patience and gentleness. It has also developed a passionate appreciation of the freedom of America, but, unlike many races who thirst for freedom, the Syrians do not abuse it. They are preeminently law abiding.
It is true they are shrewd and subtle. They put up a barrier of reserve which is not to be crossed. They seem always cautious and on guard. This, also, is the result of the tyranny, injustice and suspicion which have been accorded them. It is easy to realize that they might be capable of driving a better bargain than an Anglo-Saxon.
“It is the way we have been governed in our own country that makes us smart,” said one — a university man, master of seven languages, editor of Meraat-el-Gharb, one of the Syrian newspapers published in New York. “We must learn everything we can, especially languages, for a Syrian never knows where he may have to make his home. He must be wise and guard each word he speaks, for he never knows to whose ears it may go or what use may be made of it against him.”
They sell their goods at reasonable, often amazingly low, prices, and invariably for less than an American importer would charge for the same article. The New Yorker who has learned what treasures may be found in the Syrian quarter never fails to betake herself thither before the Christmas holidays. There, in a dingy little room that would not serve an American merchant for a waste paper closet, are piled Oriental fabrics, embroideries, rugs, brasses, coppers, laces and carved wood. The bazaar method of arranging his wares stands the Syrian merchant in good stead in the close quarters to which he has thus far been condemned in New York.
Religiously, the Syrians are of many minds. The greater number in this country belong to the Greek Orthodox Church. There are Maronites, some Roman Catholics, a sprinkling of Presbyterians and about one Mohammedan in two hundred. The Presbyterians and the Roman Catholics are the product of missionary work in Syria. The Greek Orthodox Syrian regards the missionaries with amused disdain.
“Why should you send missionaries to us, who live in the land where Jesus walked and who were Christians before America was dreamed of?”
The principal church of the Greek Orthodox Syrians is in Brooklyn, and at their head is Bishop Raphael Hawaweeny, who is a native of Damascus and is now a most zealous worker for his people. He was the first Syrian member of the Orthodox Russian clergy to receive full episcopal honors in this country. Nine years ago he came to the United States as an emissary of the Greek Church to carry on religious work among the Syrians of New York. He was then an Archimandrite. From the outset he was successful in his efforts, and in recognition of his effective missionary work here he received the higher Church honors nearly two years ago at the hands of the synod and Czar Nicholas.
It is a habit of the Bishop’s flock, especially the men, to call on him Sunday afternoon. Then he adds to the patient, fatherly care of his people the kindnesses of an extremely clever host.
In his home the Bishop wears a robe of heavy, lustrous black satin and is never without a string of agate beads in his hands.
“Is it a rosary?”
“Has it any similar religious significance?”
“No; it is for ornament only. I like to handle it. I am not content without it.”
Then comes the shining brass tray, bearing Syrian brandy, insidious fig paste (of which one never eats too much), pistache nuts, never to be forgotten Turkish coffee and the Bishop’s own cigarettes, stamped in gold Syrian letters with the text, “This is the day the Lord hath made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
“They were given me by a member of my church the day I was ordained,” the Bishop explains.
Across the street from the Bishop’s house is the Syrian church. This belonged originally to a Protestant denomination, and has not the distinctive, mosquelike construction of Russian churches. The interior is of the plainest, except that the altar approaches and furnishings gleam with the brilliant, barbaric colorings and gildings which are characteristic of the Syrians and which give a rich Oriental effect to the otherwise bare house of worship.
A high, carved screen extends across one end of the church, before the altar. In the middle of this screen is the Holy Gate, a doorway to the altar. This cannot be entered except by the Czar, as the head of the Greek Church, or by the regularly ordained priests or higher prelates.
A partition rises on either side of this gate, which is called an ikonostas, in which there are side entrances, where deacons and lower officials may enter. Standing in the Holy Gate, in his gorgeous satin robes, Bishop Raphael is an impressive figure.
The home life of the Syrians is extremely simple, whether they be rich or poor, and its chief characteristic is hospitality. There seems a childlike absence of sytem, and but one domestic rule — to offer the newly arrived guest refreshment. It may be only a whiff at a narghile, a cigarette, or a cup of coffee; but it is given with an abandon of generosity and a touching eagerness to please. Indeed, it is difficult to prevent a Syrian from showering you with gifts. You have the feeling that if he be not restrained he will give you the rugs from his floors and the bric-a-brac from his shelves.
The Syrians in America, both men and women, dress in strictly American fashion. We would rather they did not, and we rejoice in the sight of an occasional fez or twisted scarf, worn especially at home, and gladdening our eyes with its Oriental grace.
If you have a fad for lunching or dining in odd corners of New York you may some time drift into a Syrian restaurant. There, if your tastes be not strictly Oriental, you are advised to confine yourself to the black coffee. Around a little table a group of Syrians, each with a long, flexible tube attached to a water bottle of a narghile, become extremely convivial, and you may be reasonably certain they are discussing politics. You also observe that they are not at their best. They cast off the sleepy eyed reserve which they usually extend to strangers and which so well becomes them, and show a tendency to be vociferous. It is, however, so genial and spontaneous that you yearn to put aside your cold Anglo-Saxon restraint and join in it.
The Syrians, as a rule, send their children to the public schools and are enthusiastic over the educational opportunities they can have in America. The Presbyterian Syrians, however, prefer private schools, where their children receive instruction in the Presbyterian faith. There the big eye babies divide their solemn allegiance between Jesus Christ and George Washington and chant faithful little prayers in soft, minor strains.
Recently, Nicholas Chapman published several newly-discovered documents relating to Agapius Honcharenko here at OH.org. A reader named Reg responded with this comment:
This is getting confusing. Matthew since you wrote the original story on Honcharenko, could I ask you to post a timeline on Honcharenko:
Date & place of birth
Date & place of tonsure as a monk
Date & place of ordination as deacon
Date of assignment to Russian Embassy Church in Greece
Date of change of name
Date of ordination as a priest by EP
Date of arrival in America
Date of ministry in NY
Date of connection with New Orleans Church
Date of marriage & I assume leaving the EP jurisdiction
Date of arrival in CA
Date of death.
This would be a great help to all of us.
Let me try to tackle these one by one.
1. Date and place of birth: According to Volume 2 of the Encyclopedia of Ukraine (Univ. of Toronto Press, 1988), Honcharenko was born on August 31, 1832 in “Kryvyn, Skvyra county, Kyiv gubernia.” I’m no expert on Ukrainian geography, but I take it he was born in or around Kiev. I believe the August 31 date is according to the Gregorian Calendar. In an April 9, 1911 article, the San Francisco Call reported Honcharenko’s birth date as August 19, 1832. (August 31 minus 12 days — the difference between the Julian and Gregorian in the 19th century – is August 19.)
2. Education: According to one of the documents found by Nicholas Chapman (“The Case Against Agapius Honcharenko”), Honcharenko was educated at the “Seminary in Kiev,” or the Kiev Theological Academy. This is corroborated by most modern sources.
3. Date and place of tonsure as a monk: I’m not certain of the date, but “The Case” (referred to above) has Honcharenko completing his seminary studies in 1853, entering the Kievo-Pechersk (Kiev Caves) Lavra and being ordained a hierodeacon in 1856.
4. Date and place of ordination as deacon: Honcharenko was ordained a deacon at the Kievo-Pechersk Lavra in 1856.
5. Date of assignment to the Russian Embassy Church in Greece: 1857.
6. Date of change of name: I don’t know. His given name was Andrii Humnytsky, but I don’t know what he changed it to Agapius Honcharenko. Does anyone out there know what “Honcharenko” means?
7. Date of ordination as a priest by EP: I don’t know. In fact, I’m not at all certain that he was ordained by a bishop of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In his 1865 letter defending himself, Honcharenko does claim to have received ordination and an antimens from the “Great Church” (presumably Constantinople), but I would not be surprised if he was actually ordained by a bishop of the Church of Greece. In any event, given the language of the 1865 letter, I suspect that this happened sometime in 1864, not long before Honcharenko sailed to the US.
8. Date of arrival in America: According to Honcharenko’s 1865 letter, he arrived in America on December 21, 1864. He seems to be following the Julian Calendar; according to the Gregorian Calendar, it would have been January 2, 1865.
9. Date of ministry in New York: Honcharenko claims to have served his first American Divine Liturgy (probably in New York) on Christmas Day — January 6, by the Gregorian Calendar in the 19th century. His “ministry” in New York (if you can call it that) lasted until about April, when he left to visit New Orleans. He returned to New York, but was rejected by the Orthodox there, who had learned of his… issues.
10. Date of connection with the New Orleans church: On March 26, 1865, the New York Times reported that Honcharenko would depart for New Orleans “in a few days.” He was in New Orleans by April 11, when he published an open letter to the Orthodox of that city in the New Orleans Times. In the letter, he said that he would stay in New Orleans until April 22. As far as I know, his roughly two-week visit to the city was the extent of Honcharenko’s ministry in New Orleans.
11. Date of marriage: As best I can tell, Honcharenko married a young Italian woman in Philadelphia in the late 1860s, possibly between his departure from New York and his arrival in the San Francisco Bay area in about 1867. He doesn’t seem to have maintained any contact with church authorities in either Constantinople or Athens, and his connection to anything resembling mainstream Orthodoxy appears to have ended shortly after his New Orleans visit in April 1865.
12. Date of arrival in CA: Late 1867, as best I can tell.
13. Date of death: May 5, 1916 in Hayward, California.
UPDATE (9/21/10): In response to an earlier article, a reader named Helen informed me that the University of Minnesota holds materials on the life of Honcharenko. I have emailed the university to request copies of their holdings, and will post something here at OH.org once I get a response.
[This article was written by Matthew Namee.]