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...

Five American Orthodox Priests Who Might Be Saints


Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us… (Hebrews 12:1) One of the most exciting things about studying...

Metropolitan Antony Bashir & the Use of English


Metropolitan Antony Bashir was the head of the Antiochian Archdiocese of New York from 1936 until his death in 1966. He said the following in an interview published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, February 4, 1939: The Eastern Orthodox Church has many national branches, each conducting its services, as a rule,...

W.J. Birkbeck on St. John of Kronstadt


W.J. Birkbeck was a living bridge between Orthodoxy and Anglicanism at the turn of the last century. An Englishman, he fell in love with Russia and spent huge amounts of time there, developing contacts with pretty much every major figure in the Russian Orthodox Church. He visited monasteries and village...

The Myth of Unity


Nine years ago, at a conference at St. Vladimir's Seminary, I presented a paper called, "The Myth of Unity and the Origins of Jurisdictional Pluralism in American Orthodoxy." My thesis, basically, was that, contrary to the prevailing narrative at the time, Orthodoxy in America was not administratively united prior to...

35th Anniversary of Bob Marley’s Death


In honor of the 35th anniversary of the passing of Bob Marley, who finished his life as a member of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (his baptism was just six months before his death), we're reposting this piece we posted in 2010 (with a few additions) featuring the program from...

Fire Destroys Historic New York Church


Yesterday -- on Pascha, the most joyous and holy day of the year for Orthodox Christians -- St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in New York was destroyed by fire. The cathedral was originally an Episcopalian church, called Trinity Chapel, and it was acquired by the Orthodox in 1942. St. Nicholai Velimirovich...

Conference on St. Tikhon at Jordanville


On October 9-10, Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY is hosting a conference on the life and times of St. Tikhon, the great Russian bishop in America and later Patriarch of Moscow. I'm one of the speakers (on St. Tikhon's interactions with the other Orthodox ethnic groups in America), but...

The First Orthodox Christians in the Future United States?


In a month in which we have seen the brutal massacre of peaceful African Americans at prayer in Charleston, South Carolina, it is perhaps timely to tell the remarkable account of the first named Orthodox Christians in what would become the United States, together with their Black African companion. So...