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…

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…