Archbishop Victor Abo-Assaly (photo from the collection of Sam Namee)

Remembrances of Archbishop Victor Abo-Assaly

From 1895 until his death in 1915, St. Raphael Hawaweeny was the unquestioned leader of the Arab Orthodox in America. He was technically affiliated with the Russian Archdiocese, although he also had strong ties to the Patriarchate of Antioch. When he died, his followers split into two factions. The Russy faction, which ultimately coalesced around…

Unidentified priest, Michael V. Vinokouroff Photograph Collection, Alaska's Digital Archives

Photo of Unidentified San Francisco Priest

I was browsing in the wonderful photo collection at Alaska’s Digital Archives the other day when I ran across the above photo, which was titled, “3/4 length seated portrait of unidentified priest.” Who was he? The bottom of the photo gives us a clue, of course: the name “Weitz” (probably the photographer) and the name…

Fr. Joseph Xanthopoulos as a young priest (from the website of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Wilkes-Barre, PA)

The Life of Fr. Joseph Xanthopoulos

NOTE: This is a revised version of my original article. In that article, a central theme was that Fr. Joseph was half Greek and half Lebanese. I have since had the privilege of speaking with his granddaughter, who told me that he was actually 100% Greek, although he was fluent in Arabic (among many other…

Fr. Raphael Morgan

The Birth of Fr. Raphael Morgan

So I think I found something I’ve been looking for for many, many years — the birthdate of Fr. Raphael Morgan, the first black Orthodox priest in America. First, the backstory. Until now, the closest I’ve been able to get to nailing down a birthdate for Fr. Raphael is to say, “circa 1864 to 1871.”…

St Sergius flyer

Jordanville to host conference on St. Sergius of Radonezh

One of our SOCHA advisory board members is Deacon Andrei Psarev, church history instructor at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY. He’s asked us to help spread the word about a conference being held at Jordanville on October 10 and 11 to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the birth of St. Sergius of Radonezh. They’re asking…

Orthodox bishops in 1859

I ran across this the other day — in 1859, there were 278 Orthodox bishops in the world: Church Bishops Constantinople (including Romania, Bulgaria, and part of Serbia) 136 Russia (including Georgia) 65 Greece 24 Antioch 17 Jerusalem 14 Austria (now Serbia, mostly) 11 Alexandria 5 Cyprus 4 Mount Sinai 1 Montenegro 1 TOTAL 278 Source:…