A church in New York in 1850?

The first Orthodox place of worship in New York was founded in 1870, when the Russian Church established an embassy chapel under the care of Fr. Nicholas Bjerring. As we’ve discussed before, the idea of a New York chapel originated in 1866, and its purpose was primarily to further relations with the Episcopal Church. A…

Video: Bp. Basil (Essey) on the Episcopal Assembly

The Antiochian Archdiocese website has just published video of His Grace, Bishop Basil (Essey) of Wichita, Secretary of the Episcopal Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Hierarchs of North and Central America, reflecting on that body. The video was recorded on June 17, 2010, at his diocesan Parish Life Conference. It’s of particular note to those interested…

St. Tikhon: address to a newly-married couple

Editor’s note: The following homily, by St. Tikhon, was published in the March 1902 English supplement to the Russian Orthodox American Messenger, the official periodical of the Russian Diocese. From the reference to St. Macarios the Great, we can date this homily rather precisely. The feast of St. Macarios is January 19. St. Tikhon mentions…

The Russian Diocese in the San Francisco Call, 1900

Editor’s note: On April 22, 1900, the San Francisco Call published a full-page spread on Orthodoxy in America. The author, Sarah Comstock, visited San Francisco’s Holy Trinity Cathedral and interviewed the cathedral dean, Fr. Sebastian Dabovich. The resulting article (below) was accompanied by several photos, some of which I have reproduced here. It has advanced quietly…

Editorial: The New Americanism, Orthodox History and Unity in America

In the closing years of the 19th century, a number of Roman Catholic leaders in America were accused of a heresy called Americanism, and Pope Leo XIII wrote an apostolic letter specifically denouncing elements of this teaching, Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae. Americanism was essentially the emphasis on American political values over against the Roman Catholic political…

Protestant brides and Greek grooms in DC, 1906

Regular readers of this website have no doubt noticed that I am really interested in early American converts to Orthodoxy. There weren’t too many, but the handfuls of people who did join the Church in the late 19th and early 20th century almost always present fascinating stories. The most notable converts, in terms of visibility,…

Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine on ecumenism in 1907

Recently, I happened to revisit an essay by Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine, published in St. Raphael’s Al Kalimat (The Word) magazine. I don’t have the precise date, but I think it was written in 1907. The whole article is on the subject of “Church Unity” — what, today, we would call “ecumenism.” Irvine’s ecclesiology is interesting. Focusing…

Isabel Hapgood: Syro-Arabians in the United States (1899)

Editor’s note: Regular readers of this website are no doubt familiar with Isabel Hapgood, the Episcopalian translator of the Orthodox service book from Slavonic into English. (For more on Hapgood and her role in early American Orthodox history, check out my recent podcast.) Today, we’re reprinting an article Hapgood wrote on the Syro-Arabs (Syrians/Lebanese) in…

Bp. Basil (Essey) on the Episcopal Assembly

Today, SOCHA Associate Director and Wichita native Matthew Namee, in his capacity as an Ancient Faith Radio correspondent and podcaster, interviewed His Grace, Bishop Basil (Essey) of Wichita, the newly elected Secretary of the Episcopal Assembly of North and Central America. Bp. Basil is heading up the Secretariat for the Assembly, and in this interview…