The Death of Aftimios Ofiesh

I had meant to write something about this yesterday, since July 24 marks the anniversary of the death of Aftimios Ofiesh, the sometime Archbishop of Brooklyn, who departed this earthly life in 1966. Aftimios was briefly the leader of the American Orthodox Catholic Church (1927-33), the first attempt to create a united, pan-Orthodox, autocephalous Orthodox…

This week in American Orthodox history (July 16-22)

After a bit of a hiatus thanks to work and a new baby, we’re back with another edition of “This week in American Orthodox history.” No accompanying podcast yet, though — one thing at a time. July 20, 1741: According to some accounts, the first Orthodox liturgy in the Western Hemisphere was celebrated aboard Vitus…

The Life of Archbishop Michael Konstantinides

Editor’s note: Today, July 13, marks the 54th anniversary of Archbishop Michael Konstantinides, primate of the Greek Archdiocese. Archbishop Michael has been largely (and unfairly) forgotten, for a simple reason: his eight-year tenure was sandwiched in between the larger-than-life Archbishops Athenagoras and Iakovos. But Archbishop Michael was a genuinely outstanding hierarch, and he’s worthy of…

Orthodox artifacts on eBay

First of all, let me apologize for being away from this site — and from the podcast — for so long. My wife gave birth to our third child a few weeks ago, and I’ve been buried in gainful employment, so my historical work has been forced onto the back burner for a little while.…

Programming Note

Just a quick note of apology for the lack of new material both here and on the podcast. My third child was born last week, so as you might expect, life has been rather crazy of late. I’ll try to have things back to normal here at OrthodoxHistory.org very soon. In the meantime, feel free…

Fr. Sebastian Dabovich & the mystery of St. Tikhon’s miter

In 2009, I wrote an article on the miter (crown) which Archbishop Tikhon Bellavin gave to Fr. Sebastian Dabovich at the Dabovich’s elevation to archimandrite in 1905, and which Dabovich later auctioned off to raise money for the Serbian war effort in 1912. Today is the anniversary of Dabovich’s birth, and the miter’s whereabouts remain…

This week in American Orthodox history (June 18-24)

June 21, 1863: Jovan Dabovich was born in San Francisco to Serbian immigrants. He would be baptized by an Orthodox priest aboard a visiting Russian ship, and he later became Fr. Sebastian, one of the most prominent Orthodox clergymen in America. June 18, 1878: Fr. Paul Kedrolivansky, dean of the Russian cathedral in San Francisco,…

Bogus aristocrats and Orthodox saints

At the very end of the 19th century, a fellow going by the name “Theodor O’Brien MacDonald, Baron de Stuart” appeared in New York City. His second and third names notwithstanding, the “Baron” claimed to be the son of a Russian general. He left Russia, so he said, because he wanted to leave the Orthodox…

This week in American Orthodox history (June 11-17)

June 16, 1889: Deacon Raphael Hawaweeny was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Sylvester, rector of the Kiev Theological Academy. Deacon Raphael had come to the Kiev school a year earlier, and the plan was for him to study there and then return to Syria, where he would become the Russian-language secretary for the Patriarch…

New details on the mysterious “Bulgarian Monk”

Awhile back, I did a podcast on a 19th century figure who called himself “The Bulgarian Monk.” This man, also known as Rev. A.N. Experidon, came to America in the 1870s and claimed to be an Orthodox hieromonk. He remained here until his mysterious death in Idaho in the early 1890s — after which, so…