An Antiochian priest in Jamaica, 1910

It is well known that, at the turn of the last century, thousands of Syrians/Lebanese made the trip across the Atlantic to New York. What is less well known, at least here in the US, is that many Syrian emigrants went to other parts of the New World, including South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.…

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…

“Oh foolish parent, who hath bewitched you!”

If you are a regular reader of this website, you already know about Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine. Briefly, for those unfamiliar with him: Irvine was a longtime Episcopal priest who was defrocked by his bishop — unjustly, so he said. St. Tikhon agreed, and, in 1905, Tikhon ordained Irvine to the Orthodox priesthood. He put…

Protestant missions among Syrian Orthodox in Boston

Exactly 100 years ago — January 15, 1910 – the following article appeared in the Boston Globe: GREEKS OBSERVE NEW YEAR. Services Held in City Churches and Gifts are Exchanged. The members of the Orthodox Greek church celebrated their new year yesterday. The observation of the day included prayers in the two churches in the city, the exchange…

The First Orthodox Liturgy in Boston

Not too long ago, I wrote about Fr. Christopher Jabara, an Antiochian priest who visited America in 1893-94. Jabara preceded St. Raphael Hawaweeny, but he wasn’t the first Antiochian priest to come to the United States. That title, I believe, belongs to Fr. Constantine Tarazy. Tarazy was a celibate priest (possibly an archimandrite) from Damascus,…

American Orthodox demographics, 1906-1936

Every ten years, from 1906 to 1936, the US Census Bureau compiled a Census of Religious Bodies. These censuses are gold mines of information on early American Orthodoxy. Also, unlike so many of the inflated numbers that you’re likely to see floating around, the census data is reliable. With its considerable resources, the Census Bureau…

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…

The Trial of St. Raphael, Part 1

It’s a funny thing — slander, that is. Once it’s out there, you can’t take it back. Good men — saints — have been accused of the most heinous crimes imaginable, and been completely innocent. At the same time, bad men have been accused of the same crimes, and been guilty. Ultimately, as an historian,…