St. Innocent’s Vision

On October 18, 1867, the Russian Empire formally ceded Alaska to the United States. The next month, St. Innocent was elected Metropolitan of Moscow. Shortly after this, Innocent sent the following letter to the Ober-Procurator (the Tsar’s representative) of the Holy Synod.[*] Rumor reaching me from Moscow purports that I wrote to someone of my great unhappiness…

“When we speak of Tsarist pressure”

In the late 1920s, after Abp. Aftimios Ofiesh (the successor to St. Raphael in the see of Brooklyn and the subject of my M.Div. thesis and possible future book) had in 1927 established, with the blessing of the Russian Metropolia, the so-called “American Orthodox Catholic Church,” he engaged in something of a debate via correspondence…

A Letter to President McKinley

In my latest American Orthodox History podcast on Ancient Faith Radio, I spoke with Eric Peterson about Alaskan Orthodoxy in the period following the 1867 sale of Alaska by Russia to the United States. This was a tragic period, and for decades, a Presbyterian missionary named Rev. Sheldon Jackson ruled Alaska with an iron fist. He…

“Bless me then, O Lord, to enter upon my work…”

Continuing the theme from yesterday… After the death of St. Philaret, St. Innocent was chosen to be his replacement as Metropolitan of Moscow. Below is his first pastoral address as Metropolitan, given in Moscow’s Dormition (Assumption) Cathedral on May 26, 1868. The address was printed in the English-language Orthodox Catholic Review (Vol. 2, 1868, edited by…

“He kindles its very snows with his warm zeal…”

On my Ancient Faith Radio podcast, I’m in the midst of a three-part interview series with Eric Peterson on the subject of Alaskan Orthodox history. Today, AFR aired Part 2 of that series, focusing on the period from 1824 (St. Innocent) to 1867 (the sale of Alaska to the United States). Below is an article…