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…

The San Francisco Cathedral: Before and After

In its early years, the Russian cathedral in San Francisco had a number of homes, including: 3241 Mission St. (the home of a parishioner named Mr. Seculovich) 509 Greenwich St. 911 Jackson St. 1108 Pierce St. 829 Greenwich St. (owned by a German Lutheran church) 1713 Powell St. Most of those buildings were occupied for…

Parish Names in American Orthodoxy

Here’s a trivia question for you: What is the most common name for an Orthodox parish in the United States? This isn’t really an historical question, and it’s opening what is not strictly an historical article. But, to answer the question: the most common parish name is “St. Nicholas,” followed closely by “St. George” and…

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,…

Blessing the Kansas River, 1910

    For Orthodox Christians on the Old Calendar, today is the feast of Theophany. I’m hoping to air a whole podcast on Theophany very soon, but in the meantime, I thought I’d reprint an article about a Theophany celebration that took place one hundred years ago.  I live in Kansas, and the first Orthodox…

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…

The Apostle of Organ Music

Last week, I wrote about the introduction of organs into Greek churches in America, but I didn’t really know why they were introduced. Thanks to David Mastroberte, we now have a plausible explanation: someone specifically set out to popularize organ music. That man was George Anastassiou. Courtesy of Mr. Mastroberte, here are Anastasiou’s own words,…

The death of Fr. Misael Karydis

On December 22, I wrote about the tragic death of Fr. Misael Karydis, longtime pastor of the Greek church in New Orleans. You’ll want to read that article first, to follow what I’m talking about today. After I published that piece, I unconvered several more reports on Karydis’ death, from the New York Sun, Tribune,…