St. Raphael and the Battle of Pacific Street

As we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks, in September 1905, New York’s Syrian community was on the brink of war. On one side were the Orthodox, who rallied around their bishop, St. Raphael Hawaweeny. The saint himself opposed violence — both violent acts and violent words — but his attempts to intervene only…

“New York’s 6,000 Syrians & Their Colony”

Editor’s note: The following article appeared in multiple newspapers (including the New York Sun and the Washington Post) on July 30, 1905 — just a couple of weeks before New York’s Syrian community became embroiled in a very public, very messy war between Orthodox and Maronites. In light of that controversy, this article’s statement, “They…

The Eve of the Battle of Pacific Street

Last week, we left the two New York Syrian camps — Orthodox and Maronite — on the brink of war. Each side’s partisan newspaper attacked the other, and the Maronites took particular aim at St. Raphael, the Orthodox bishop of Brooklyn, accusing him of all sorts of outlandish offenses. Various parties received anonymous threats, and…

Trouble in Syrian New York

Way back in January, I began what I intended to be a series on the 1905 arrest and trial of St. Raphael Hawaweeny. I wrote only one article on the subject, though, and even that article was more of a collection of quotations from contemporary newspapers than an actual piece of historical work. I confess…

St. Philaret of Moscow on Orthodoxy in America in 1865

Editor’s note: Last week, Nicholas Chapman introduced three documents he found in the National Archives in London, under the heading “The Russian Orthodox Church in America and Its Clergy in 1865.” Today, we present the first of these documents — a letter from His Holiness Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow, to the Ober-Procurator of the Holy…

An interview with Patriarch Tikhon in 1923

  Editor’s note: The interview that follows originally appeared in a book published by the YMCA in Prague. I found it on the fascinating Alexander Palace Time Machine website (the original is here). Many thanks to Jenny Mosher, who posted a link to this interview on our SOCHA Facebook page. Bob Atchison, editor of the…

The first biography of St. Innocent, part 3

What follows is Part 3 of Charles Hale’s 1877 biography of St. Innocent. Click here to read Part 1, and click here to read Part 2. Consecrated for a great work he [Innocent] was as prompt to set about it as he was earnest in his labor. Stourdza’s “Remembrancer” contains a number of letters from…

The first biography of St. Innocent, part 2

Editor’s note: Last week, we presented the first part of the first biography of St. Innocent, written by the Episcopalian clergyman Charles R. Hale. What follows is Part 2, which details the introduction of Orthodoxy to Alaska and the priestly ministry of Fr. John Veniaminoff, the future St. Innocent. Tomorrow, we will publish the last…

The first biography of St. Innocent, part 1

Editor’s note: The first biography of St. Innocent of Alaska was not written by an Orthodox author, but by an Episcopalian, Charles R. Hale, in 1877 (a year before St. Innocent’s death). Hale (1837-1900) was an Episcopal priest (and later a bishop) who had great affection for the Orthodox Church. For a good summary of…