Patriarch Joachim II of Constantinople (image from Wikimedia Commons)

Ecumenical Patriarch Opposes American Slavery in 1862

At the close of 1862, the Ecumenical Patriarch Joachim II wrote an annual retrospective on the year that had just ended. An American anti-slavery newspaper called the Liberator picked up this part of Joachim’s letter in its April 24, 1863 issue: The United States of America, after many years of union and peace, after gigantic material…

St. Tikhon (from the San Francisco Call, 4/22/1900)

Who was St. Tikhon?

Full name: Tikhon Bellavin Dates: 1865 to 1925 In America: 1898 to 1907 Who was he? Head of the Russian Archdiocese in North America at the turn of the 20th century, and later Patriarch of Moscow during the Bolshevik Revolution and its bloody aftermath. He was known for being a kind bishop, humble and unassuming.…

Fr. Demetrios Petrides

Fr Demetrios Petrides on the death of his son

For various reasons, death seems a particularly present reality right now. Of course, there is the tragic death of Fr Matthew Baker this past Sunday (and, once again, please consider helping his family). The day before Fr Matthew died, some very good friends of mine lost their 6-year-old daughter, who had been suffering from a degenerative genetic…

1903-05-25 - NY Greek priest Fr Papageorgopoulos (NY World) cropped

A more easily pronounced name

The church committee of a Greek orthodox church in New York city are to apply to the Holy Synod in Greece for the appointment of a new pastor to succeed the Rev. Agathodoro A. Papageorgopaulos, who recently resigned the pastorate of that church. If the committee want to “stand in” with the reporters and proofreaders…

Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in New Orleans, early 20th century

What was the first Orthodox parish in America?

The question, “What was the first Orthodox parish in America?” is surprisingly difficult to answer. A big part of the problem comes from that word, “parish.” What is a parish? When does a collection of Orthodox people become a “parish”? It’s a matter of interpretation, and particularly in the early years of Orthodoxy in America,…

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,…