St. Raphael Hawaweeny in 1890, as head of the Antiochian metochion in Moscow

A History of the Antiochian Representation Church in Moscow

Since 1848, the Patriarchate of Antioch has had a “metochion,” or representation church (basically an church embassy) in Moscow. Immediately before he came to America, St. Raphael Hawaweeny served as head of the metochion. Earlier this year, the must-read blog Notes on Arab Orthodoxy published a brief history of the metochion and an interview with…

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…

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…

The World’s Parliament of Religions, 1893

Not long ago, I wrote a pair of articles on the visit of the Greek archbishop Dionysius Latas to the United States. The archbishop came to America in 1893 to attend the “World’s Parliament of Religions,” which was held in conjunction with the Chicago World’s Fair. When we last left Abp Dionysius, he had visited New York and…

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,…

Fr. Christopher Jabara, the ultra-ecumenist

I always laugh a little bit when I hear people complain about Orthodox involvement in things like the World Council of Churches. It’s not that I support such involvement — my position on modern ecumenical relations really isn’t relevant here — but I laugh because I can’t imagine what the present-day anti-ecumenists among us would…