This week in American Orthodox history (March 12-18)

This week is a busy one: March 14, 1767: Philip Ludwell III, the first Orthodox convert in American history, died in London. Decades earlier, in 1738, Ludwell had joined the Orthodox Church in London. He was just 22 at the time, and was a rising star in the Virginia aristocracy. Remarkably, the Russian Holy Synod…

This week in American Orthodox history (March 5-11)

March 10, 1866: The future Archbishop Arseny Chagovtsov was born in Kharkov, in what was then the Russian Empire and what is today Ukraine. A widowed priest, he became a monk and came to America in 1903 to serve in the Russian North American Mission. He was instrumental in the establishment of St. Tikhon’s Monastery…

This week in American Orthodox history (February 6-12)

February 6, 1993: Bishop Job Osacky was enthroned as the new OCA Bishop of Chicago, almost exactly ten years after his consecration to the episcopate. Bishop (and later Archbishop) Job went on to become a key advocate for transparency in the recent OCA crisis before his untimely death in 2009. February 8, 1973: St. Vladimir’s…

This week in American Orthodox history (January 30-February 5)

A lot of Antiochian-related events this week: January 30, 1902: Archimandrite Raphael Hawaweeny, head of the Syro-Arab Orthodox Mission in America, began a pastoral journey to Mexico. Later this week — on February 3 — he made a brief stop in Cuba en route to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. St. Raphael remained in the Yucatan for…

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…

St. Raphael’s tombstone

Last week, I introduced Fr. Moses Abihider, a little-known Antiochian priest from the early 20th century. One thing we did know was that Fr. Moses was buried at the Antiochian Village along with St. Raphael, with whom he shared a tombstone. But… well, I was wrong about that one. See, before being moved to the Antiochian…