A photo of Fr. Paul Kedrolivanksy

A few weeks ago, I did a podcast on the apparent murder of Fr. Paul Kedrolivansky, dean of the San Francisco Russian cathedral. At the time, I wasn’t aware of any surviving images of Kedrolivansky. Recently, however, I discovered the above photo, in the wonderful Alaska’s Digital Archives. It was taken in 1868, prior to…

A Life of St. Herman from 1919

  Vera Vladimirovna Johnston was born in the Russian Empire, married an Englishman, and eventually moved to New York. Her own story is extremely fascinating, and we will discuss it in detail in the future. Today, however, I am reprinting an article she wrote in 1919, entitled, “Herman — Russian Missionary to America.” This article…

Fr. Jacob Korchinsky: Missionary and Martyr

Recently, on our Facebook page, someone left a comment requesting information on Fr. Jacob Korchinsky, who is apparently being considered for canonization. I was vaguely familiar with Korchinsky; I’d read his name before, but knew next to nothing about him. Obviously, I wanted to learn more. Over the past couple of days, I’ve pieced together…

St. Innocent’s Vision

On October 18, 1867, the Russian Empire formally ceded Alaska to the United States. The next month, St. Innocent was elected Metropolitan of Moscow. Shortly after this, Innocent sent the following letter to the Ober-Procurator (the Tsar’s representative) of the Holy Synod.[*] Rumor reaching me from Moscow purports that I wrote to someone of my great unhappiness…

A Letter to President McKinley

In my latest American Orthodox History podcast on Ancient Faith Radio, I spoke with Eric Peterson about Alaskan Orthodoxy in the period following the 1867 sale of Alaska by Russia to the United States. This was a tragic period, and for decades, a Presbyterian missionary named Rev. Sheldon Jackson ruled Alaska with an iron fist. He…

“Bless me then, O Lord, to enter upon my work…”

Continuing the theme from yesterday… After the death of St. Philaret, St. Innocent was chosen to be his replacement as Metropolitan of Moscow. Below is his first pastoral address as Metropolitan, given in Moscow’s Dormition (Assumption) Cathedral on May 26, 1868. The address was printed in the English-language Orthodox Catholic Review (Vol. 2, 1868, edited by…

“He kindles its very snows with his warm zeal…”

On my Ancient Faith Radio podcast, I’m in the midst of a three-part interview series with Eric Peterson on the subject of Alaskan Orthodox history. Today, AFR aired Part 2 of that series, focusing on the period from 1824 (St. Innocent) to 1867 (the sale of Alaska to the United States). Below is an article…