Category: Firsts


Why Fr. Raphael Morgan Should Not Be Venerated or Canonized


On September 3, I published the documents from the divorce of Fr. Raphael Morgan and his wife Charlotte. The documents are tragic and disturbing. Charlotte accused Fr. Raphael of physical abuse, verbal abuse, and infidelity. The Morgans' former landlady corroborated the abuse allegations in her testimony. Fr. Raphael himself was...

The Fr. Raphael Morgan Divorce Documents


Fr. Raphael Morgan was the first black Orthodox priest in American history. He was ordained in Constantinople in 1907 and lived in Philadelphia until his death in 1922. He's an incredibly fascinating historical figure who has captured the imaginations of many people who have learned about him. He's also not...

The Biggest Pan-Orthodox Event in American History


In 1963, between 11,000 and 13,000 Orthodox youth, from seven jurisdictions, came together for a pan-Orthodox festival in Pittsburgh. Ten bishops and more than 150 priests celebrated Vespers in an arena, and a thousand-person pan-Orthodox youth choir sang. This was the biggest pan-Orthodox event in American history, and most Orthodox...

The Legacy of Father Nicola Yanney


What follows is the text I used for a talk on Fr. Nicola Yanney on October 28, 2018, at a pilgrimage in Kearney, Nebraska, commemorating the 100th anniversary of his repose. Audio and video recordings were made of the talk, and those should be available at some point. I think...

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...

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,)...