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,…

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…

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…

Chicago Greeks oppose choral music in 1908

Several years ago, I began writing about the “Americanization” of Orthodoxy — things like pews, organs, mixed choirs, the cassocks vs. collars debate, clean shaven priests, etc. (Click here to read my article on organs in Greek churches.) Recently, I found a great historical source — an open letter from a group of Chicago Greeks…