New Podcast on Fr. Demetrios Petrides

On today’s episode of my American Orthodox History podcast, I focus on the life of Fr. Demetrios Petrides, a Greek priest in Philadelphia and Atlanta from 1907 to 1917. It was Petrides who, as priest in Philadelphia, wrote a letter to the Ecumenical Patriarchate recommending Robert Morgan for ordination as the first black Orthodox priest…

“The Stormy Petrel of the Cloth”

We’ve spent a lot of time on this website talking about Fr. Raphael Morgan, the first black Orthodox priest in America. Morgan was attached to the Greek church in Philadelphia. When he went to the Ecumenical Patriarchate to be ordained in 1907, he had two letters in his possession. One was from the Greek community…

Fr. Raphael Morgan against Marcus Garvey

Marcus Garvey was a widely influential black nationalist from Jamaica. He promoted black pride and championed the “back to Africa” movement. In 1916, when he was just 29 years old and at the outset of his public career, he visited the United States and embarked on a 38-state speaking tour. Not all of the black Americans…

The death of Patriarch Gregory V of Constantinople, 1821

Today is both the Feast of the Annunciation (on the New Calendar), and Greek Independence Day. With that in mind, I decided to look in my archives for American accounts of the Greek War of Independence, in 1821. I have quite a few reports from various newspapers and journals, and the single event that received…

A Greek bishop in America in 1893 (Part 2)

Last week, I introduced Archbishop Dionysius Latas of Zante, a Greek hierarch who visited America in 1893. When we left his story, he had arrived in New York City and was en route to Saratoga Springs, where the Episcopalian Bishop Henry Potter had invited him. We’ll pick up the story there. Abp Dionysius arrived in…

A Greek bishop in America in 1893

In 1893, the World’s Fair was held in Chicago. In conjunction with the Fair, something called the “World’s Parliament of Religions” was held from September 11-27. This was a remarkable gathering, which brought together not only Christian leaders of various denominations, but people of every religious stripe — Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. It seems…

Can you solve this mystery?

I recently received an email from Fr. Timothy Sawchak, of Holy Trinity OCA Church in Kansas City. He sent the above photo, of a mystery clergyman. It was, apparently, discovered at an old studio and given to Annunciation Greek Church, also in Kansas City.  There was no writing on the photo, or markings of any…