Fr. Nicola Yanney

New document on life of Fr. Nicola Yanney

Fr. Nicola Yanney is one of my favorite priests in the history of Orthodoxy in America. He immigrated to America at age 19, in 1892-93, with his new wife. They immediately settled in, of all places, Nebraska. Nine years later, she gave birth to their fifth child — and died in childbirth, leaving Nicola as…

An Antiochian wedding at the St. Louis World’s Fair

(An earlier version of this post was published in 2010.) 108 years ago this week, in 1904, St. Raphael Hawaweeny, the Syro-Arab Bishop of Brooklyn, officiated at a wedding in St. Louis. The English bride and Arab groom had a rather¬†romantic backstory, and the wedding took place at the imitation Holy Sepulchre in the “Jerusalem”…

This week in American Orthodox history (June 11-17)

June 16, 1889: Deacon Raphael Hawaweeny was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Sylvester, rector of the Kiev Theological Academy. Deacon Raphael had come to the Kiev school a year earlier, and the plan was for him to study there and then return to Syria, where he would become the Russian-language secretary for the Patriarch…

This week in American Orthodox history (June 4-10)

June 10, 1870: The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church created the Diocese of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska. Previously, Alaska — or, before its 1867 sale to the United States, “Russian America” — was part of the Diocese of Kamchatka. Making Alaska its own diocese was part of the transition in the wake…

Fr. Kyrill Johnson, 1897-1947

A lot of us at SOCHA happen to be really busy right now (personally, I’m in the middle of law school exams), so rather than leave you without much to read this week, here’s an article we originally published back in August 2010. Fr. Kyrill Johnson was one of many fascinating early American converts to…

This week in American Orthodox history (May 7-13)

This week’s installment of our “This week” series is unusually brief, because I’m in the middle of final exams for law school. I hope you’ll understand, and I should be back next week with a full-length piece. May 9, 1870: The newly chrismated convert Nicholas Bjerring was ordained to the Orthodox priesthood in St. Petersburg,…

Photo of the week: a newlywed archbishop

In the half-dozen years before his wedding on April 29, 1933, Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh had moved further and further away from mainstream Orthodoxy, setting himself up as the head of an “autocephalous” jurisdiction called the American Orthodox Catholic Church—which at its inception in 1927 had the official blessing of the Russian Metropolia in America (which…

Some thoughts on the Russy-Antacky schism

Yesterday, in my “This week in American Orthodox history” article, I mentioned the following event: April 23, 1917: St. George Syrian Orthodox Church in Worcester, MA became the first official “Antacky” parish, declaring its loyalty to Metropolitan Germanos Shehadi. Informally, the Russy-Antacky schism began immediately after St. Raphael died in 1915, when his priests disagreed…