An Orthodox saint from Gary, Indiana

The Northwest Indiana Times recently published an article on St. Varnava Nastic, who was born in Gary, Indiana in 1914. St. Varnava was the first person baptized in St. Sava Orthodox Church, which was originally in Gary and is now located in Merrillville. The Nastic family returned to Yugoslavia when St. Varnava was nine years…

St. John comes to Chicago, 1895

This article was originally published one year ago, on November 2, 2009.   This past weekend, those of us on the New Calendar celebrated the feast day of St. John Kochurov, the Russian New Martyr and former priest of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Chicago. With that in mind, I thought I’d talk a bit about St.…

Fr. Sebastian Dabovich on St. Innocent of Alaska

Editor’s note: The following lecture was given by Fr. Sebastian Dabovich on August 15, 1897 to the parish school St. Sergius in San Francisco, in the presence of Bishop Nicholas Ziorov. The occasion was the 100th anniversary of the birth of St. Innocent Veniaminov, the great Alaskan missionary and later Metropolitan of Moscow. The text was originally…

Irvine transferred to St. Raphael’s jurisdiction

The following letter was found in Ingram N.W. Irvine’s file in the OCA Archives in Syosset, New York. The letter is undated (the pre-printed date line “190_” does not have a specific year) and appears under the letterhead of the North American Ecclesiastical Consistory, 15 East 97th Street, New York, N.Y. It is handwritten and…

The Life of St. Vasily Martysz

Editor’s note: St. Vasily (Basil) Martysz served in America from 1901 to 1912, was martyred in 1945, and was glorified by the Orthodox Church of Poland in 2003. Nevertheless, he remains virtually unknown to the vast majority of American Orthodox Christians. The article that follows is a life of St. Vasily, translated by Fr. Michael Oleksa and…

Did St. Raphael try to shoot a police officer?

In my last article, I wrote about the “Battle of Pacific Street” — the gunfight between Syrian Orthodox and Maronites in Brooklyn on the night of September 18, 1905. As I said before, St. Raphael Hawaweeny fled the scene and was chased (and then arrested) by a policeman, Officer Mallon. According to Mallon, St. Raphael pulled…

An Antiochian wedding at the St. Louis World’s Fair

Editor’s note: 106 years ago tomorrow — and almost exactly one year before the Battle of Pacific Street — St. Raphael officiated at a wedding in St. Louis. The English bride and Arab groom had a rather romantic backstory, and the wedding took place at the imitation Holy Sepulchre in the “Jerusalem” exhibit at the St.…

St. Raphael and the Battle of Pacific Street

As we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks, in September 1905, New York’s Syrian community was on the brink of war. On one side were the Orthodox, who rallied around their bishop, St. Raphael Hawaweeny. The saint himself opposed violence — both violent acts and violent words — but his attempts to intervene only…

“New York’s 6,000 Syrians & Their Colony”

Editor’s note: The following article appeared in multiple newspapers (including the New York Sun and the Washington Post) on July 30, 1905 — just a couple of weeks before New York’s Syrian community became embroiled in a very public, very messy war between Orthodox and Maronites. In light of that controversy, this article’s statement, “They…