Today, December 13, is the New Calendar feast day of St. Herman of Alaska. A year ago on this feast, we reprinted a life of St. Herman written by Vera Johnston and published in 1919. To read (or re-read) that biography, click here.
Today is also the 28th anniversary of the death of Fr. Alexander Schmemann, the longtime dean of St. Vladimir’s Seminary and arguably the most important writer in American Orthodox history. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a few minutes and check out the Fr. Alexander Schmemann website, www.schmemann.org. There, you’ll find photos of Schmemann, a collection of his writings, and articles written about him by others. Perhaps the best memorial for Schmemann is the sermon given by his son-in-law, Fr. Thomas Hopko, at the memorial Divine Liturgy three days after Schmemann’s death. More recently, in 2008, Bishop Basil Essey gave a wonderful lecture in Schmemann’s honor at St. Vladimir’s Seminary. To listen to it on Ancient Faith Radio, click here.
Readers may be interested to read the following two columns from 2005, written by Theophilus Eardwine and appearing on the OrthodoxyToday website. Both are notable in that they deny the commonly held notion that pre-1921 Orthodoxy in America was united under the Russian Archdiocese, something that in 2005 was unthinkable in many circles. The first column is a response to a 2005 article by the now-retired Bp. Nikolai (Soraich) of Sitka, while the second is a more generally addressed column.
The second column is incorrect in at least one point: Germanos Shehadi was not sent to the U.S. by the Antiochian synod in Damascus, but was here on his own recognizance, eventually staying against the express wishes of the synod.