Joseph Vilatte and the Wisconsin Old Catholics, 1891-92

In the comments section of an old article I wrote on the first Orthodox parishes in each US state, Isa Almisry and I have recently had an interesting exchange about an Old Catholic parish in Wisconsin which discussed joining (and possibly did briefly join) the Russian Orthodox Church in 1891-92. This story involves Joseph Rene Vilatte,…

From Repki to the New World: A Belarusian Priest in America

Editor’s note: For quite a while now, I have been corresponding with Ales Simakou of Gomel, Belarus. Ales describes himself as “a researcher of Belarusian-American (especially Indian) contacts,” and he has been researching the life of Fr. Nikolai Grinkevich, a Belarusian priest who was ordained in San Francisco and served in America in the 1890s. What…

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…

The Mysterious Death of Fr. Paul Kedrolivansky

On today’s episode of my American Orthodox History podcast on Ancient Faith Radio, I tell the story of Fr. Paul Kedrolivansky’s suspicious death. For the whole story, you’ll want to listen to the podcast. There are quite a few characters involved, and I thought it might be helpful to provide a brief introduction to each…

Early Orthodoxy in Portland, Oregon

Orthodoxy has been in Portland, Oregon for well over a century, and its history is of particular interest to me, as my in-laws live in the city, and I have visited there many times. Today, we’re going to look at the beginnings of organized parish life in Portland. According to Brigit Farley, there are records of…

Orthodoxy in Chicago, 1888-1892

Back in June, I did one of my first podcasts on an attempt, in 1888, to form a multiethnic parish in Chicago. Here are the basics: By 1888, there were about a thousand Orthodox Christians living in Chicago, most of them Greeks and Serbs / Montenegrins. A few years earlier, they had organized themselves into an Orthodox society…