A Greek church in San Francisco, 1903

  From its founding in 1868, the Russian cathedral in San Francisco was a multiethnic community. In particular, Greeks and Serbs were an integral part of the church, and, at various times, there was an ethnic Greek (Fr. Kallinikos Kanellas) and an ethnic Serb priest (Fr. Sebastian Dabovich) serving the parish. By 1903, however, the…

Theophany in American Orthodox history

The latest episode of my American Orthodox History podcast is up over at Ancient Faith Radio. In it, I discuss the feast of Theophany, focusing on several historical celebrations of the feast, including the famous annual celebration at the Greek cathedral in Tarpon Springs, Florida. In the podcast, I read from a number of old…

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,…

Anti-Greek Riots in Omaha

The Greeks first arrived in South Omaha, Nebraska, in 1904, brought in as strikebreakers in the local meat-packing industry. That didn’t exactly endear them to the community, but they settled in, and by 1907, over 2,000 Greeks were reportedly living in the city. It wasn’t long before they built a church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist. On February…

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…

The Apostle of Organ Music

Last week, I wrote about the introduction of organs into Greek churches in America, but I didn’t really know why they were introduced. Thanks to David Mastroberte, we now have a plausible explanation: someone specifically set out to popularize organ music. That man was George Anastassiou. Courtesy of Mr. Mastroberte, here are Anastasiou’s own words,…