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 as a young priest (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,…

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”…