Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine on ecumenism in 1907

Recently, I happened to revisit an essay by Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine, published in St. Raphael’s Al Kalimat (The Word) magazine. I don’t have the precise date, but I think it was written in 1907. The whole article is on the subject of “Church Unity” — what, today, we would call “ecumenism.” Irvine’s ecclesiology is interesting. Focusing…

A Jewish convert to Orthodoxy in 1897

Leaving aside Native Alaskans and Uniates, conversions to Orthodoxy in America were quite rare at the turn of the last century. Yes, American women occasionally converted when they married cradle Orthodox men, and there was the odd Episcopalian convert, but even taking those into consideration, conversions were very uncommon. And if Protestants joining the Orthodox…

St. Raphael’s consecration: a newly-discovered photo

St. Raphael was consecrated Bishop of Brooklyn on March 13, 1904. I wrote about this event in July, and my article was accompanied by a small photo of Raphael — the only known surviving photograph of his consecration. That is, until now.  Last month, I stumbled upon an issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle from March…

100 Years Ago Today: January 8, 1910

If you were living in New York City exactly one hundred years ago, you could have read the following article in the Tribune, one of New York’s many newspapers: GREEK CHRISTMAS Prayers Offered for Czar at Cathedral of St. Nicholas. Christmas was celebrated in New York yesterday by ten thousand Russians, Greeks and Syrians, in…

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…

Cassocks or Collars?

It’s a common debate within American Orthodoxy: should our priests wear cassocks, or should they wear suits and collars like their Roman Catholic and Protestant counterparts? One side rightly argues that cassocks are the traditional and virtually universal style of dress for Orthodox clergy. The other side just as correctly points out that even some American saints wore…

1905: The busiest year in American Orthodox history

2009 has been an eventful year for American Orthodoxy — perhaps the most eventful in our history. But it’s got competition. The year 1905 may well have been even crazier. Here is a list of the major happenings of 1905, in no particular order: The headquarters of the Russian Mission were transferred from San Francisco…

St. John comes to Chicago, 1895

This past weekend, those of us on the New Calendar celebrated the feast day of St. John Kochurov, the Russian New Martyr and former priest of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Chicago. With that in mind, I thought I’d talk a bit about St. John’s arrival in Chicago. John Kochurov was just 24 years old when…

A Russian Church in New York, 1895

Since the closing of Fr. Nicholas Bjerring’s chapel in 1883, New York City had been without a Russian Orthodox place of worship. Greek churches were founded in the city in 1892 and ’94, and by 1895, there were Russian parishes in Minnesota, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. Finally, in April of 1895, the Russian Mission returned to…