The Feast Day of St. Raphael

Tomorrow, the first Saturday in November, is one of St. Raphael’s two feast days. The other, February 27, is the OCA’s feast day for him, and takes place on the day of his death. This November feast is celebrated in the Antiochian Archdiocese, and takes place on roughly the day of his birth (November 8).…

The Reversal of Platon Rozhdestvensky

On today’s podcast on AFR, we discuss the American Orthodox Catholic Church, an early attempt at multi-ethnic jurisdictional unity in the United States. One of the issues brought up was that, within about a year after the creation of the AOCC by Russian Metropolia authorities in February of 1927, the Metropolia’s head, Metr. Platon Rozhdestvensky,…

James Chrystal: the first convert priest

A month ago, I did a podcast and wrote an article about the first two American Orthodox convert priests, James Chrystal and Nicholas Bjerring. Today, I’m publishing a brief biography I wrote on Chrystal (and which I adapted for use in the podcast). James Chrystal was born in 1831, ordained an Episcopal deacon in 1859…

Jerusalem’s Abp Panteleimon in America, 1924-1931

On October 19, I wrote about Archbishop Panteleimon of Neapolis (today’s Nablus), a bishop of the Jerusalem Patriarchate who was active in America in the 1920s. Since then, thanks to help from some readers, I’ve learned more about Abp Panteleimon’s later years in America. Here’s an update. Abp Panteleimon seems to roughly parallel the Antiochian…

Fr. Arsenios Davis & communion with Episcopalians

Officially, of course, the Orthodox Church has never been in communion with the Protestant Episcopal Church. Yes, there’s been some close dialogue over the years, and once upon a time even St. Raphael blessed his people to seek out Episcopal priests in extreme situations (though he soon rescinded that permission). Still, Orthodoxy has never entered…

Isabel Hapgood on St. John of Kronstadt

A couple of weeks ago, we reprinted St. Alexander Hotovitzky’s 1904 account of his meeting with St. John of Kronstadt. Nearly a decade earlier, the famous translator Isabel Hapgood wrote her own profile of St. John — then known as Fr. John Sergieff, pastor of St. Andrew’s Church in Kronstadt. The article appeared in The Independent…

Nashotah House conference

A few days ago, there was a conference called, “In the Footsteps of Tikhon and Grafton,” held at Nashotah House, the famous Episcopalian seminary in Wisconsin. The conference included a number of well-known Orthodox figures, among them the OCA’s Metropolitan Jonah and Bishop Melchizedek, and St. Vladimir’s Seminary’s Fr. Chad Hatfield and Mrs. Anne Glynn-Mackoul. Recordings…

In Defense of Fr. Irvine

“Self righteousness. Self assuredness. Emphasising unity of administration. Not understanding the importance of Church music. The Freemason Conspiracy Theory. Aggressiveness…..” The other day, I happened upon an online discussion of Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine and his dislike of Isabel Hapgood. One commentator, whom I would credit if I knew his/her real name, said, “I understand…

“Please let us have a splendid choir!”

On Wednesday, I posted a collection of quotations from Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine. Among them was this, on the famous translator Isabel Hapgood: “That vixen Miss Hapgood. What a liar — she has damned the Church for years.” Over on our Facebook page, Michael Beck asked the very reasonable question, “What was his deal with Isabel…