We Must Have A Bishop

The following editorial appeared in the Saloniki-Greek Press (a Greek-American newspaper) on Feb. 28, 1914. At the time, there was no Greek bishop in America. Until 1908, the Greek parishes were loosely tied to either the Ecumenical Patriarchate or the Church of Greece, but in 1908, the Ecumenical Patriarchate issued a Tomos transferring its jurisdiction in…

Fr. Theoclitos of Galveston on Charity

Recently, I’ve been working with a group of researchers to document the life of Fr. Theoclitos Triantafilides, the remarkable priest of Galveston, Texas. Fr. Theoclitos was from Greece — his father had fought in the Greek Revolution — and as a young man, Fr. Theoclitos lived on Mount Athos and later studied in Russia. He…

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…

To shave or not to shave?

For three tumultuous decades — 1907 to 1938 — Fr. Basil Kerbawy was the dean of St. Nicholas Syrian Orthodox Cathedral in Brooklyn. Apparently, in 1911, he was having some issues related to his beard, and things got so bad that he wrote to William Gaynor, the mayor of New York. I can’t resist reprinting their…