Elder Joachim in America

In the 1920s, a young Greek priest named Fr. John Nicolaides served in America — oddly enough, as a clergyman of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. In 1930, he left for Mount Athos, where he became Fr. Joachim, now well-known as Elder Joachim of St. Anne’s Skete. He is prominently featured in the book Contemporary Ascetics…

The Miracle of Prozimi

A couple weeks ago, I posted a 1927 article about a Greek priest in Connecticut who claimed to have made bread rise without the use of yeast. Instead, he used holy water, and this was apparently done in the context of a church service. I had never heard of such a thing, but I was…

Robert Josias Morgan visits Russia, 1904

It’s been a while since we talked about Robert Josias Morgan, the black Episcopal deacon who became an Orthodox priest in 1907, taking the name “Fr. Raphael.” In the past, I’ve mentioned that, prior to his conversion to Orthodoxy, Morgan visited Russia in 1904. Upon his departure, he wrote a letter, which was reprinted in…

Priest makes bread rise without yeast

Every once in a while here at OrthodoxHistory.org, I like to take a break from serious historical study to present completely random, strange pieces¬†of information from the past. Today is one of those days. The following article appeared in the Ogden (Utah) Standard-Examiner on November 15, 1927: WATERBURY, Conn., Nov. 15. — (By The Associated…

The First Churches, State by State

There is an argument, made by many, that the first autocephalous Church to expand into a new territory “gets” that territory. I call it the flag-planting theory, because it reminds me of 15th century European explorers who reached the shores of undiscovered (for them) lands, stuck a flag in the sand, and claimed that piece…

The New Orleans Gospel Book

In 1927, Fr. Boris Burden wrote the following: The Church of the Holy Trinity in New Orleans, La., claims to have been the first Greek church in the United States. On the occasion of its dedication in 1860 Alexander II, Czar of Russia, sent to its Greek Priest, the Reverend Father Michael, a gold-embossed Book…

Language in American Orthodoxy, 1916

As you might expect, most American Orthodox parishes in 1916 used foreign languages. From that year’s Census of Religious Bodies, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, we find the following unsurprising information: Both of the Albanian parishes used exclusively Albanian. The four Bulgarian parishes used Bulgarian and Slavonic. The 87 Greek parishes used exclusively Greek.…

Nicolas Benachi, founder of the New Orleans Greek church

In the early years of the New Orleans parish, resident parish priests were few and far between. Fr. Agapius Honcharenko visited for a short while in 1865. Fr. Stephen Andreades served the parish in the late 1860s, and Fr. Gregory Yayas was the pastor from 1872-74. But the real leader of the community in those…