Fr. Andreades’ 1867 New Orleans homily

Archimandrite Stephen Andreades was the first priest of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in New Orleans. He arrived in late 1867, making him the very first resident Orthodox priest in the contiguous United States. Very little is known about Andreades, and most of what we know comes from a short homily he gave upon his arrival.…

Freemasonry in American Orthodox history

Once upon a time, it was the norm for American men to be members of fraternal organizations. These were especially attractive to new immigrants, who wanted to be integrated into American society and make progress in business. And in that earlier era, fraternal membership was the best and quickest way to achieve both goals. They joined the…

Two Greek youths come to America in 1823

Years ago, on an online database, I came across an article titled “The Two Greek Youth” and published in the April 1823 issue of The Guardian, or Youth’s Religious Instructor, a short-lived American magazine. According to the article, Protestant missionaries brought these two boys over from Malta to study at the Cornwall School in Connecticut.…

This week in American Orthodox history (Nov. 5-11)

November 8, 1894: Memorial services for Tsar Alexander III of Russia were held in New York and Washington, DC. The New York memorial was held in Holy Trinity Greek church, because there was no Russian church in the city. In Washington, President Grover Cleveland attended the service, which was led by Bishop Nicholas Ziorov. A…

Photo of the week: the monument to Fr. Methodios Kourkoulis

In its early years, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (later Cathedral) went through priests like a newborn goes through diapers. In the dozen years from its founding in 1892 until 1904, the parish welcomed, and said goodbye to, no fewer than eight pastors. These included some (relatively) big names: Fr. Paisios Ferentinos, the first Greek…

An Antiochian wedding at the St. Louis World’s Fair

(An earlier version of this post was published in 2010.) 108 years ago this week, in 1904, St. Raphael Hawaweeny, the Syro-Arab Bishop of Brooklyn, 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”…

This week in American Orthodox history (Sept. 17-23)

September 18, 1905: On the very same day, two big events took place: St. Tikhon Bellavin, the Russian Archbishop of North America, elevated Fr. Sebastian Dabovich to the rank of archimandrite. Dabovich was the leader of the Serbian Orthodox in America, and Tikhon planned to make him a bishop, although that never happened. Tikhon gave…

This week in American Orthodox history (Sept. 10-16)

September 11, 1893: The World’s Parliament of Religions opened in Chicago. I’ve written quite a bit about the Parliament in past articles, and you can read all of them by clicking here. The super-short version: In conjunction with the Chicago World’s Fair, representatives from every major world religion convened in Chicago for the mother of…