Protestant brides and Greek grooms in DC, 1906

Regular readers of this website have no doubt noticed that I am really interested in early American converts to Orthodoxy. There weren’t too many, but the handfuls of people who did join the Church in the late 19th and early 20th century almost always present fascinating stories. The most notable converts, in terms of visibility,…

Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine on ecumenism in 1907

Recently, I happened to revisit an essay by Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine, published in St. Raphael’s Al Kalimat (The Word) magazine. I don’t have the precise date, but I think it was written in 1907. The whole article is on the subject of “Church Unity” — what, today, we would call “ecumenism.” Irvine’s ecclesiology is interesting. Focusing…

Fr. Nathaniel Irvine and Bishop Talbot

Over on Frontier Orthodoxy, Fr. Oliver Herbel has just published a post about Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine and his feud with the Episcopalian Bishop Ethelbert Talbot — a feud which ultimately led Irvine to leave the Episcopal Church and convert to Orthodoxy. To read Fr. Oliver’s post, click here. Last August, I discussed the Irvine-Talbot controversy…

A Jewish convert to Orthodoxy in 1897

Leaving aside Native Alaskans and Uniates, conversions to Orthodoxy in America were quite rare at the turn of the last century. Yes, American women occasionally converted when they married cradle Orthodox men, and there was the odd Episcopalian convert, but even taking those into consideration, conversions were very uncommon. And if Protestants joining the Orthodox…

The Failed Mission of Fr. Stephen Hatherly

Yesterday, May 19, was the 126th anniversary of the arrival in America of Protopresbyter Stephen Hatherly, a convert priest from England. Hatherly served under the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and spent several months in the US, attempting to establish an Orthodox parish in New York. Last July, I wrote an article on Hatherly’s brief American tenure, but…

Today in history: the death of St. Alexis Toth

101 years ago today, May 7, 1909, Archimandrite Alexis Toth died in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Here is the obituary that ran in the evening newspaper, the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader: Rt. Rev. Alexis G. Toth, pastor of St. Mary’s Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of North Main street, this city, died at 2 o’clock this afternoon from a…