Tag: Antiochian


A History of the Antiochian Representation Church in Moscow


Since 1848, the Patriarchate of Antioch has had a "metochion," or representation church (basically an church embassy) in Moscow. Immediately before he came to America, St. Raphael Hawaweeny served as head of the metochion. Earlier this year, the must-read blog Notes on Arab Orthodoxy published a brief history of the...

Who was St. Raphael under — Antioch or Russia?


Who was St. Raphael under? It depends partly on whom you ask, and it also depends on when you ask. In 1895, when Archimandrite Raphael Hawaweeny came to America to oversee the Syro-Arabs, he was most definitely under the Russian Church. In fact, at the time, he was on the...

Fr. Philip Abo-Assaley of Grand Rapids


Fr. Philipous (or Philip) Abo-Assaley was an early Antiochian priest who served under St. Raphael and, later, Bishop Aftimios Ofiesh. He founded St. George Orthodox Church in Grand Rapids, Mich. and served as its pastor for many years. Recently, I stumbled onto this very nice little biography of Fr. Philip...

The Battle of Pacific Street, Part 3: Gunshots


As we've been discussing in detail, in September 1905, New York's Syrian community was on the brink of war. On one side were the Orthodox, who rallied around their bishop, St. Raphael Hawaweeny. The saint himself opposed violence -- both violent acts and violent words -- but his attempts to...

The Battle of Pacific Street, Part 2: Eve of the Battle


In our last article, we left the two New York Syrian camps -- Orthodox and Maronite -- on the brink of war. Each side's partisan newspaper attacked the other, and the Maronites took particular aim at St. Raphael, the Orthodox bishop of Brooklyn, accusing him of all sorts of outlandish...

The Battle of Pacific Street, Part 1: Trouble in Syrian New York


Editor's note: This is a slightly revised version of an article that I originally published back in 2010. It's also the first of a series of articles on the "Battle of Pacific Street," and its aftermath. And just in case you're reading this and don't know who St. Raphael Hawaweeny...

Remembrances of Archbishop Victor Abo-Assaly


From 1895 until his death in 1915, St. Raphael Hawaweeny was the unquestioned leader of the Arab Orthodox in America. He was technically affiliated with the Russian Archdiocese, although he also had strong ties to the Patriarchate of Antioch. When he died, his followers split into two factions. The Russy...

The Life of Fr. Joseph Xanthopoulos


NOTE: This is a revised version of my original article. In that article, a central theme was that Fr. Joseph was half Greek and half Lebanese. I have since had the privilege of speaking with his granddaughter, who told me that he was actually 100% Greek, although he was fluent...

Today in American Orthodox History: May 13


On May 13, 1888, a diverse group of Orthodox men, mostly from Greece and the Balkans, met in Chicago to discuss the formation of a multiethnic Orthodox parish. That meeting was the topic of one of the very first posts on this blog, back in 2009. And also one of...