An update on the “Most Influential” project

A couple of weeks ago, I introduced an ongoing project to create a list of the most influential people in American Orthodox history. In that article, I laid down some ground rules: The person must have died at least 20 years ago (1990 or earlier). The person must be sufficiently “American” (someone like Tsar Nicholas…

Michael Anagnos, “who made the sightless see”

Helen Keller was one of the most famous women in America in the early 20th century. Both deaf and blind, she overcame her disabilities to become a bestselling author and popular lecturer. Keller’s tutor, Anne Sullivan, became rather famous in her own right, for her role in training the young Keller. In 1962, Anne Bancroft…

P.T. Barnum’s widow married in NY Greek church

P.T. Barnum was the greatest showman of the 19th century. Today, he’s most closely associated with the circus that bears his name, but in his own day, he was much more than a circus organizer. In an era before blockbuster movies, Barnum was the closest you could get to a larger-than-life Hollywood producer. He was…

From Harvard MD to Orthodox priest: the Fr. Pythagoras Caravellas story

Editor’s note: The following article was written by relatives of Fr. Pythagoras Caravellas, and originally appeared in the 60th anniversary commemorative album for Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in San Francisco, published in 1996. The article has been reprinted at Annunciation Cathedral’s website, and we present it here courtesy of the San Francisco Bay Area Greek Historical…

Orthodoxy and Theosophy: the Vera Johnston story

In the early 1900s, a woman named Vera Johnston was involved with the Russian cathedral in New York and the seminary in Tenafly, New Jersey. With a name like Johnston, you might think that she was a convert, which is exactly what I thought when I first ran across her name. But Vera Johnston was actually a cradle-born…

The Odd Adventures of Fr. Philip Sredanovich

Fr. Philip Sredanovich is one of the odder characters in American Orthodox history. Perhaps not as odd as the embellishing Agapius Honcharenko or the wandering Bulgarian Monk, but in all my studies, I’ve run across few parish priests stranger than Sredanovich. Sredanovich was born in Montenegro in 1881. I read somewhere that he was educated in…

Archbishop Arseny: The Context for Canonization — Part One

(Editor’s note: Today, we are very pleased to introduce a new author here at OrthodoxHistory.org. Deacon Matthew Francis lives in Edmonton, Alberta, and is one of the leading historians of Orthodoxy in Canada. For some time now, he has been conducting independent research into the life of Archbishop Arseny Chagovtsov, among many other aspects of…

Today in history: Guns on Pascha, 1905

I was browsing my newspaper archives recently, and came across an article about a Greek Pascha celebration in New York, exactly 105 years ago today (April 30, 1905). Here’s the whole article, from the New York Times: While more than a thousand persons were in front of the Holy Trinity Hellenic Orthodox Church, in Seventy-second…