Fr. Ilia Zotikov: A Hieromartyr in a File Drawer

One of the little mysteries I’ve been meaning to research for some time has a bit of a family connection.  This past week, I finally had the opportunity to delve into it, and the results were far different than I ever anticipated. My great-grandparents were married on May 2/15, 1908 at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox…

The First Antiochian Chapel in America

In the life of St. Raphael Hawaweeny published by Antakya Press (page 24, to be precise), there’s a reference to an early Syrian/Antiochian chapel in New York, dating to 1893. The story goes that a visiting Antiochian priest, Archimandrite Christopher Jabara, established the chapel at Cedar and Washington Streets in New York City. Unbeknownst to…

The mystery of Irvine’s funeral

I’ve written more words about Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine than about any other historical figure. Irvine was an Episcopal priest who converted to Orthodoxy in 1905, was ordained by St. Tikhon, and played a major role in American Orthodoxy until his death in January 1921. He was a trusted assistant to St. Raphael Hawaweeny, and…

Orthodox priests in America in 1849-50

Earlier today, I posted this note from the January 1850 issue of the Home and Foreign Record of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America: Efforts are now making in New York to form a congregation of Greek Christians. We observe an announcement that a priest of that denomination, with an interpreter, is…

Unsolved mysteries of American Orthodoxy

Yesterday, I published a brief article on Fr. Stephen Andreades, the first resident priest of the first Orthodox parish in the contiguous United States — Holy Trinity in New Orleans. The entire early history of that parish is something of a mystery. We know who the early priests were — Andreades, Fr. Gregory Yiayias, Fr.…

New York OCA Cathedral’s fight for religious freedom

If you’ve read the last two issues of our SOCHA newsletter, you know that Holy Protection OCA Cathedral in New York City is in the middle of a fight with the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). Here’s how I described the situation in the most recent newsletter: In last month’s newsletter, I mentioned the plight…