The Odd Adventures of Fr. Philip Sredanovich

Fr. Philip Sredanovich is one of the odder characters in American Orthodox history. Perhaps not as odd as the embellishing Agapius Honcharenko or the wandering Bulgarian Monk, but in all my studies, I’ve run across few parish priests stranger than Sredanovich. Sredanovich was born in Montenegro in 1881. I read somewhere that he was educated in…

The Failed Mission of Fr. Stephen Hatherly

Yesterday, May 19, was the 126th anniversary of the arrival in America of Protopresbyter Stephen Hatherly, a convert priest from England. Hatherly served under the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and spent several months in the US, attempting to establish an Orthodox parish in New York. Last July, I wrote an article on Hatherly’s brief American tenure, but…

Early Orthodoxy in Alabama and Georgia

In June of 1900, an Archimandrite Dorotheo — I don’t know his last name — came to Birmingham, Alabama. He had traveled there from Chicago, although I’m not sure which Chicago parish he was affiliated with. Borrowing a local Episcopal church — the Church of the Advent — he performed the first known Orthodox sacraments…

Today in history: the death of St. Alexis Toth

101 years ago today, May 7, 1909, Archimandrite Alexis Toth died in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Here is the obituary that ran in the evening newspaper, the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader: Rt. Rev. Alexis G. Toth, pastor of St. Mary’s Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of North Main street, this city, died at 2 o’clock this afternoon from a…

Today in history: Church bell stolen in Chicago

As you may have heard, a few weeks ago thieves made off with six church bells from Holy Dormition Church (OCA) in Cumberland, Rhode Island. The bells were soon recovered, albeit in a seriously damaged condition. The whole episode got me thinking about other instances in American history in which valuable church bells were stolen…

Today in history: Guns on Pascha, 1905

I was browsing my newspaper archives recently, and came across an article about a Greek Pascha celebration in New York, exactly 105 years ago today (April 30, 1905). Here’s the whole article, from the New York Times: While more than a thousand persons were in front of the Holy Trinity Hellenic Orthodox Church, in Seventy-second…