The first biography of St. Innocent, part 1

Editor’s note: The first biography of St. Innocent of Alaska was not written by an Orthodox author, but by an Episcopalian, Charles R. Hale, in 1877 (a year before St. Innocent’s death). Hale (1837-1900) was an Episcopal priest (and later a bishop) who had great affection for the Orthodox Church. For a good summary of…

The Russian Diocese in the San Francisco Call, 1900

Editor’s note: On April 22, 1900, the San Francisco Call published a full-page spread on Orthodoxy in America. The author, Sarah Comstock, visited San Francisco’s Holy Trinity Cathedral and interviewed the cathedral dean, Fr. Sebastian Dabovich. The resulting article (below) was accompanied by several photos, some of which I have reproduced here. It has advanced quietly…

A photo of Fr. Paul Kedrolivanksy

A few weeks ago, I did a podcast on the apparent murder of Fr. Paul Kedrolivansky, dean of the San Francisco Russian cathedral. At the time, I wasn’t aware of any surviving images of Kedrolivansky. Recently, however, I discovered the above photo, in the wonderful Alaska’s Digital Archives. It was taken in 1868, prior to…

Source of the Week: Dabovich on Bishop Nestor

On today’s episode of my American Orthodox History podcast, I talk about the tragic death of Bishop Nestor Zass, head of the Diocese of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska from 1879 to 1882. One of Bp Nestor’s parishioners in San Francisco was the 19-year-old Jovan Dabovich, the future Archimandrite Sebastian. Years later, Dabovich wrote a…

A Life of St. Herman from 1919

  Vera Vladimirovna Johnston was born in the Russian Empire, married an Englishman, and eventually moved to New York. Her own story is extremely fascinating, and we will discuss it in detail in the future. Today, however, I am reprinting an article she wrote in 1919, entitled, “Herman — Russian Missionary to America.” This article…

Fr. Jacob Korchinsky: Missionary and Martyr

Recently, on our Facebook page, someone left a comment requesting information on Fr. Jacob Korchinsky, who is apparently being considered for canonization. I was vaguely familiar with Korchinsky; I’d read his name before, but knew next to nothing about him. Obviously, I wanted to learn more. Over the past couple of days, I’ve pieced together…