The stability of the Syrian Mission under St. Raphael


Back in June, I wrote a post on parish priest stability in the 1910s, and I found that the Syrians under St. Raphael had a higher clergy retention percentage than any other American Orthodox group. Way higher. Of the 14 Syrian parishes that had resident priests in 1911, 10 of...

Honcharenko in San Francisco


From the Congregationalist and Boston Recorder, January 16, 1868: Many will remember that, some two years ago, a famous service was held in Trinity Chapel, New York city, in which, with a great flourish of trumpets, one "Father Agapius," who purported to be a Priest of the Greek church, celebrated...

Nicolas Benachi, founder of the New Orleans Greek church


In the early years of the New Orleans parish, resident parish priests were few and far between. Fr. Agapius Honcharenko visited for a short while in 1865. Fr. Stephen Andreades served the parish in the late 1860s, and Fr. Gregory Yayas was the pastor from 1872-74. But the real leader...

The First Orthodox Liturgy in the American South


As we discussed earlier, Fr. Agapius Honcharenko celebrated the first Orthodox liturgy in New York City on March 2, 1865. At the time, he was the only Orthodox priest in America outside of Alaska. And as we've also discussed, there were Greeks and other Orthodox Christians living in New Orleans in...

The <strike>First</strike> Second Convert Orthodox Bishop in America


2019 UPDATE: Years after I wrote this article, I learned about Stephen Dzubay, who converted to Orthodoxy from the Ruthenian Catholics and became Orthodox, being consecrated in 1916 to head a Carpatho-Rusyan diocese under the Russian Metropolia. He is therefore likely the first convert bishop in American Orthodox history. Like...

Confederate Orthodox soldiers in the Civil War


In 1861, the Greeks living in New Orleans organized their own volunteer militia regiment to fight on the Confederate side in the Civil War. From Fr. Alexander Doumouras, in the 1975 book Orthodox America: 1794-1976: Government records show an unofficial memorandum mentioning "Greek Company A," Louisiana Militia, 1861. The company...

More on New York’s first liturgy


This week, I've been discussing the first Orthodox liturgy in New York City, celebrated by Fr. Agapius Honcharenko in 1865. (For those posts, click here and here.) Honcharenko appears to have arrived in New York in January 1865. The following is part of the January 18, 1865 entry in the...

Turtledoves Prohibited, Wedding Was Postponed


I've been trekking through the 1860s lately, but I thought I'd take a break from that for a moment and present something completely random. From the Philadelphia Inquirer, July 27, 1913: TURTLEDOVES PROHIBITED, WEDDING WAS POSTPONED Syrian Father’s Poetic Fancy Cost Him a Fine Also LA CROSSE, Wis., July 26....

Trinity Chapel: A Correction


A couple days ago, I wrote a piece on the first Orthodox liturgy in New York City, celebrated by Fr Agapius Honcharenko in 1865. The site of the liturgy was Trinity Chapel, which belonged to the Episcopal Church. In my post, I included a photo of Trinity Church... Which, as...

The First Orthodox Liturgy in New York City


On March 2, 1865, New York City witnessed its first-ever Orthodox liturgy. The service was held in Trinity Chapel, which belonged to the Episcopal Church. The priest, Fr Agapius Honcharenko, was originally from what is now Ukraine and what was then a part of the Russian Empire. But he came,...