St. Raphael Hawaweeny

The Battle of Pacific Street, Part 3: Gunshots

As we’ve been discussing in detail, in September 1905, New York’s Syrian community was on the brink of war. On one side were the Orthodox, who rallied around their bishop, St. Raphael Hawaweeny. The saint himself opposed violence — both violent acts and violent words — but his attempts to intervene only exacerbated the problem.…

"The Syrian Colony, Washington Street," by W. Bengough

The Battle of Pacific Street, Part 2: Eve of the Battle

In our last article, we left the two New York Syrian camps — Orthodox and Maronite — on the brink of war. Each side’s partisan newspaper attacked the other, and the Maronites took particular aim at St. Raphael, the Orthodox bishop of Brooklyn, accusing him of all sorts of outlandish offenses. Various parties received anonymous…

Archbishop Victor Abo-Assaly (photo from the collection of Sam Namee)

Remembrances of Archbishop Victor Abo-Assaly

From 1895 until his death in 1915, St. Raphael Hawaweeny was the unquestioned leader of the Arab Orthodox in America. He was technically affiliated with the Russian Archdiocese, although he also had strong ties to the Patriarchate of Antioch. When he died, his followers split into two factions. The Russy faction, which ultimately coalesced around…

Fr. Joseph Xanthopoulos (from the website of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Wilkes-Barre, PA)

The Life of Fr. Joseph Xanthopoulos

NOTE: This is a revised version of my original article. In that article, a central theme was that Fr. Joseph was half Greek and half Lebanese. I have since had the privilege of speaking with his granddaughter, who told me that he was actually 100% Greek, although he was fluent in Arabic (among many other…

Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan died on May 13, 2006

Today in American Orthodox History: May 13

On May 13, 1888, a diverse group of Orthodox men, mostly from Greece and the Balkans, met in Chicago to discuss the formation of a multiethnic Orthodox parish. That meeting was the topic of one of the very first posts on this blog, back in 2009. And also one of my first podcasts on AFR,…