Rethinking the Myth of Unity

One year ago, I delivered a paper at St. Vladimir’s Seminary entitled, “The Myth of Unity and the Origins of Jurisdictional Pluralism in American Orthodoxy.” (Click here for the audio.) My thesis was that, contrary to a widely-held belief, American Orthodoxy was not administratively united prior to the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Rather, from a very…

The Russian Archbishop welcomes the Greek Archdiocese, 1921

“[I]n 1921 … without the knowledge and canonical approval of the Russian Orthodox Church, a Greek Archdiocese was founded in America.” (Patriarch Alexy I of Moscow to Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, March 17, 1970.) Patriarch Alexy’s position has been shared by many people, particularly since the OCA was granted autocephaly by Moscow in 1970. But is…

The Failed Mission of Fr. Stephen Hatherly

Yesterday, May 19, was the 126th anniversary of the arrival in America of Protopresbyter Stephen Hatherly, a convert priest from England. Hatherly served under the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and spent several months in the US, attempting to establish an Orthodox parish in New York. Last July, I wrote an article on Hatherly’s brief American tenure, but…

Serbs in Chicago

I’ve recently stumbled onto a really interesting article on the history of Chicago’s Serbian community. This paper, written by Krinka Vidaković Petrov, was published in the journal Serbian Studies in 2006. It helps shed further light on the early history of Orthodoxy in Chicago, which we’ve discussed many times on this website. I found this…

95 years ago: The death of St. Raphael

This past Saturday was February 27, the 95th anniversary of the death of St. Raphael Hawaweeny, the great Syrian Bishop of Brooklyn. His death set off more than a week of commemorations in the Syrian Orthodox community. Telegrams immediately went out to Syrian parishes all over the country. In fact, the news spread so quickly that…

The Forgotten Saint of the Forgotten Church on the Forgotten Island

Archimandrite Theoclitos Triantafilides is one of the most remarkable figures in American Orthodox history. An ethnic Greek, he served as tutor to the future Tsar Nicholas II and went on to establish the multiethnic parish of Ss. Constantine and Helen in Galveston, Texas, under the Russian Mission. His story has been mostly untold, until now. The following article,…