This week in American Orthodox history (January 30-February 5)

A lot of Antiochian-related events this week: January 30, 1902: Archimandrite Raphael Hawaweeny, head of the Syro-Arab Orthodox Mission in America, began a pastoral journey to Mexico. Later this week — on February 3 — he made a brief stop in Cuba en route to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. St. Raphael remained in the Yucatan for…

The First Antiochian Chapel in America

In the life of St. Raphael Hawaweeny published by Antakya Press (page 24, to be precise), there’s a reference to an early Syrian/Antiochian chapel in New York, dating to 1893. The story goes that a visiting Antiochian priest, Archimandrite Christopher Jabara, established the chapel at Cedar and Washington Streets in New York City. Unbeknownst to…

Greek Catholic — not Orthodox — monk in America in 1850

Last week, I wrote about a priest from Lebanon who visited the United States in 1850. In an update to that post, I reprinted an 1850 Syracuse newspaper article claiming that the priest was an “impostor” who was raising money through dishonesty. That Syracuse newspaper referred to another article in the Puritan Recorder. Well, I’ve…

Orthodox priests in America in 1849-50

Earlier today, I posted this note from the January 1850 issue of the Home and Foreign Record of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America: Efforts are now making in New York to form a congregation of Greek Christians. We observe an announcement that a priest of that denomination, with an interpreter, is…

An update on Fr. Moses Abihider

Recently, I wrote a brief article on Fr. Moses Abihider, a Syrian/Antiochian priest from the early 20th century who was buried alongside St. Raphael Hawaweeny. Shortly after that, a reader named Robert Klancko emailed me with more information. Mr. Klancko’s wife is a relative of the Abihider family, and, among other things, he told me the…