SOCHA Newsletter, Issue #3 (October 27, 2011)

The directors of SOCHA: Fr. Oliver Herbel, Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick, Matthew Namee, and Aram Sarkisian

I haven’t put together a SOCHA newsletter in a while, and this one is kind of sparse, but I didn’t want to wait any longer. If you know of anything we should include in the next issue, or to offer any other feedback about the newsletter, please email me at mfnamee [at] gmail [dot] com.


  • On September 30-October 1, SOCHA held its first symposium at Princeton Theological Seminary. Many thanks to Princeton’s Florovsky Society (and especially Seraphim Danckaert), which organized the event, and to all who participated. It was a major moment for SOCHA, and we can’t wait to do it again.
  • Immediately after the symposium, SOCHA added a fourth director, Aram G. Sarkisian. For more on Aram, click here.
  • Don’t forget to pick up a digital copy of the inaugural issue of our journal, the Journal of American Orthodox Church History. Copies are available for $10 from the Prairie Parish Press website. To learn more about the contents of the journal, click here.
  • One of our authors here at, Nicholas Chapman, was recently featured in a fantastic interview with the journal Road to Emmaus. He discusses his latest discoveries about the origins of Orthodoxy in America. This is a must-read for anyone interested in American Orthodox history. We’ll be publishing an excerpt, along with ordering information, very soon.
  • The ongoing research projects here at SOCHA include investigations into Fr. Raphael Morgan (the first black Orthodox priest in America) and the martyrdom of St. Peter the Aleut. In recent articles, we’ve published new information on both of those stories. Click here to read the latest discovery involving Morgan, and click here to read a preliminary translation of the original martyrdom account of St. Peter.


  • At long last, the Greek Archdiocese has succeded in getting permission from the government to rebuild St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, which was destroyed when the World Trade Center was attacked on September 11, 2001
  • The OCA’s All-American Council will take place in Seattle from October 31 to November 4, and they’ve planned two excursions to historic Seattle Orthodox churches on October 30. The first trip will go to Holy Trinity in Wilkeson, WA (one of the oldest Orthodox buildings in America, built in 1896). The second will visit St. Spiridon Cathedral (OCA, founded 1895) and St. Nicholas Cathedral (ROCOR, founded 1932). At St. Nicholas, visitors will visit the upstairs room where St. John Maximovitch died in 1966. Each excursion costs $50 per person. If any of our readers attend and take photos, we’d love to publish them here at For details on these excursions, click here.
  • Parish anniversaries: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Augusta, GA (100th anniversary). St. George Romanian Orthodox Church in Canton, OH (100th anniversary). Protection of the Holy Virgin Orthodox Church (OCA) in Merrillville (formerly Gary), IN (100th anniversary). St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in East Chicago, IL (100th anniversary). Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church (OCA) in Meriden, CT (100th anniversary). St. Seraphim Orthodox Church (OCA) in Santa Rosa, CA (75th anniversary).

Matthew Namee, Editor

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