This week in American Orthodox history (January 30-February 5)

A lot of Antiochian-related events this week: January 30, 1902: Archimandrite Raphael Hawaweeny, head of the Syro-Arab Orthodox Mission in America, began a pastoral journey to Mexico. Later this week — on February 3 — he made a brief stop in Cuba en route to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. St. Raphael remained in the Yucatan for…

St. Alexander Hotovitzky on the New Year

Editor’s note: Last year, we reprinted St. Alexander Hotovitzky’s 1902 reflection on the New Year. It was originally published in the January 1902 supplement to the Vestnik (Messenger), of which he was the editor. With New Year’s Day coming this weekend, we’re reprinting the reflection again: Again I stand on the threshold of a New Year.…

St. Tikhon: address to a newly-married couple

Editor’s note: The following homily, by St. Tikhon, was published in the March 1902 English supplement to the Russian Orthodox American Messenger, the official periodical of the Russian Diocese. From the reference to St. Macarios the Great, we can date this homily rather precisely. The feast of St. Macarios is January 19. St. Tikhon mentions…

Today in history: Church bell stolen in Chicago

As you may have heard, a few weeks ago thieves made off with six church bells from Holy Dormition Church (OCA) in Cumberland, Rhode Island. The bells were soon recovered, albeit in a seriously damaged condition. The whole episode got me thinking about other instances in American history in which valuable church bells were stolen…

Fraudulent “Chaldean” fundraisers in America

As I’ve probably said a hundred times now, America is a frontier region for Orthodoxy. This was especially the case at the turn of the last century, when the chaotic nature of the American Orthodox scene provided ample opportunity for imposter priests to make a good living on unwitting Orthodox immigrants. I’m sure we’ll discuss…

St. Alexander Hotovitzky on the New Year

In the January 1902 supplement to the Vestnik (of which he was editor), St. Alexander Hotovitzky wrote a reflection on New Year’s Day. It is reprinted in full below. Again I stand on the threshold of a New Year. Again I stand on the crest of a mountain, where I may make a halt and…

The many names of Chicago’s Russian church

Sometimes, we historians deal with big, important issues. Other times, we obsess over minutae. Today is one of the latter occasions. Chicago’s OCA cathedral, known for the past century as Holy Trinity, had a lot of names in its early years. It’s a pretty convoluted history, and I am attempting to unravel it. Here’s what…