Vintage color postcard of Chicago’s Holy Trinity Cathedral

Yesterday, we published a series of photos of Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago. These images, taken in 1905, are part of the Library of Congress’ online collection of photos from the Chicago Daily News. Over on our Facebook page, a reader named Katja Yurschak posted a link to a wonderful old postcard, featuring the cathedral…

Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine and Isabel Hapgood

Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine and Isabel Florence Hapgood were the two people most responsible for the spread of English in early 20th century American Orthodoxy. Hapgood, a lifelong Episcopalian, was a renowned translator, honored by the Tsar, and she is still remembered today for her landmark 1906 English translation of the Orthodox Service Book. Less than a…

More on Fr. Basil Bouroff of Chicago

Over a year ago, I wrote about Fr. Basil Bouroff, one of the first priests of the Russian church in Chicago (now Holy Trinity OCA Cathedral). While serving as a priest, Bouroff began attending the new University of Chicago. His religious and/or political views put him in hot water with Bishop Nicholas Ziorov, who ousted…

Historical Census Data for Orthodoxy in America

Last week, Alexei Krindatch released his landmark 2010 census of Orthodox churches in the United States. (Also last week, Krindatch was interviewed by Kevin Allen on Ancient Faith Radio. Click here to listen.) Sifting through the census data, I naturally got to thinking about historical censuses. Every ten years, from 1906 to 1936, the US…

Prayers for the President: an addendum

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article detailing some of the history of prayers for the US President in American Orthodox churches. After I published it, a reader named Andy Romanofsky sent along this excerpt from Chapter 1 of Archbishop Gregory Afonsky’s A History of the Orthodox Church in America: 1917-1939: The faithful of the Orthodox Church…

Protestant brides and Greek grooms in DC, 1906

Regular readers of this website have no doubt noticed that I am really interested in early American converts to Orthodoxy. There weren’t too many, but the handfuls of people who did join the Church in the late 19th and early 20th century almost always present fascinating stories. The most notable converts, in terms of visibility,…

American Orthodox demographics, 1906-1936

Every ten years, from 1906 to 1936, the US Census Bureau compiled a Census of Religious Bodies. These censuses are gold mines of information on early American Orthodoxy. Also, unlike so many of the inflated numbers that you’re likely to see floating around, the census data is reliable. With its considerable resources, the Census Bureau…

Irvine’s ordination: another Episcopalian perspective

Very soon after his 1905 conversion to Orthodoxy, Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine wrote a letter to his archbishop, St. Tikhon, on “the Anglican Church’s claims.” It was, for Tikhon, a valuable document: a view of Anglicanism from one of its own, who had himself converted to Orthodoxy. Irvine, who retained a sincere affection for his…

St. Tikhon’s Vision, 1905

In 1905, the Holy Synod of Russia was preparing for an All-Russian Council. In advance of this, the Synod asked all the diocesan hierarchs of the Russian Church to send in their opinions on various church reform issues. St. Tikhon was among the respondents, and a portion of his reply has become rather famous among…

Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine: Why I Became Orthodox

On today’s episode of my American Orthodox History podcast, I discuss Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine, a famous Episcopal priest who converted to Orthodoxy under St. Tikhon in 1905. We’ll have lots more to come on Irvine, but for starters, here are his seven reasons for converting to Orthodoxy. This is from his 1906 book, A…