1970 Letter from Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras on Autocephaly


Editor's note: In 1970, the Patriarchate of Moscow issued a Tomos of Autocephaly to its former archdiocese in North America, which was commonly known as the "Russian Metropolia" and is now the "Orthodox Church in America." Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras protested against this act in multiple letters to the leaders of the...

Who was “Agapius Honcharenko”?


Note: Last week, we met Fr. Agapius Honcharenko, who served the first known Orthodox liturgies in New York (or, for that matter, the United States of America -- remember, this is when Alaska was still part of the Russian Empire). (Click here to read that article.) Today, we continue the...

The First New York Liturgies, 1865


Note: This article is the beginning of a series of articles walking through the early history of Orthodoxy in the United States. Not the EARLIEST history (Philip Ludwell III and his circle) -- that's the territory of Nicholas Chapman and his associates (see www.ludwell.org to learn all about that). And not...

St Nikolai Velimirovich on Orthodoxy in America & Its Future


Editor's note: The following homily was delivered by St. Nikolai Velimirovich in America, sometime between his (second) arrival in America in 1946 and his death in 1956. It was published in the journal Orthodox America, volume 19, number 5. Years ago, I received permission from Orthodox America to publish the text of...

Plans for an English-speaking seminary & an Orthodox census in 1943


Back in the early 1940s, several of the Orthodox jurisdictions briefly came together to form an organization with the unwieldy name, "The Federated Orthodox Greek Catholic Primary Jurisdictions in America." That's ridiculous, so we'll just call it "the Federation." Anyway, the Federation was a precursor to SCOBA, which morphed into...

The Early History of Orthodoxy in Chicago


In 2011, I gave a talk at Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church in Westchester, Illinois, on the early history of Orthodoxy in Chicago. Here's the text of that lecture, basically unedited since I wrote it 7+ years ago. ******* The story of Orthodoxy in Chicago really begins in the 1880s....

Cinco de Mayo and the lost Orthodox Missions of Mexico


When I was in my early twenties, a couple of years before I entered the Orthodox Church, I crossed the Atlantic and spent a summer busing across America. I spent a week of the trip working with a Roman Catholic Jesuit mission (although I was a Protestant at that time,)...

A Greek Monastery in North Carolina in 1931


In 1931, the Greek Archdiocese decided to establish a monastery in North Carolina. On October 10, 1931, a Chicago Greek newspaper, the Saloniki-Greek Press, reported this: The mixed council of the Greek Archdiocese for a long time has contemplated the feasibility of such an institution as the spiritual center for the...

Did an Athonite monk visit President Ulysses S. Grant?


In 1869, a priest from Mount Athos paid a visit to the sitting President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. The Aug. 18, 1869 issues of both the North American and United States Gazette (published in Philadelphia) and the Philadelphia Inquirer ran identical blurbs: The Rev. Father Christopher, a Greek priest from...

A Short History of Orthodoxy in America


The History of Orthodoxy in America in Two Words: Immigrants. Converts. The History of Orthodoxy in America in Ten Words: Immigrants brought Orthodoxy and were joined by converts. Gradual acclimation. The History of Orthodoxy in America in One Hundred Words (not including Alaska, I know): Orthodoxy took root in America at the turn...