Tag: New York


The first convert priests… or… the first American apostates


On today's American Orthodox History podcast, I discuss the first two convert American Orthodox priests, James Chrystal and Nicholas Bjerring. You can listen to the podcast for the whole story, but I thought I'd give a brief summary here. Chrystal and Bjerring were exact contemporaries, both born in 1831. Chrystal...

Irvine’s responds to Hapgood’s “Musical heresy”


Last week, I posted Isabel Hapgood's 1915 article in which she begged Archbishop Evdokim, "Please let us have a splendid choir!" She said, in part, "The Cathedral Choir, propertly constituted large enough, is immensely more important to your Church and Mission in this country than twenty little new parishes." The...

“Please let us have a splendid choir!”


On Wednesday, I posted a collection of quotations from Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine. Among them was this, on the famous translator Isabel Hapgood: "That vixen Miss Hapgood. What a liar -- she has damned the Church for years." Over on our Facebook page, Michael Beck asked the very reasonable question, "What...

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...

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,...

Two Russian Priests in New York City, 1863


In September of 1863, in the middle of the American Civil War, a fleet of Russian ships arrived in the New York harbor. Their mission was both diplomatic and strategic, but anyway, that’s not terribly relevant here.[i] More to the point, among the crews of the ships were at least...

Not Quite SCOBA


Few photos from the early 20th century history of American Orthodoxy are so rich in significance as this one. This was taken during the 1921 visit of then-deposed Abp. Meletios (Metxakis) of Athens to America, beginning the process of founding the Greek Archdiocese. He came traveling with Bp. Alexander (Demoglou),...

The Failed Mission of Fr Stephen Hatherly


From 1870 to 1883, Fr Nicholas Bjerring was pastor of a Russian Orthodox chapel in New York City. Bjerring was a convert from Roman Catholicism, and he basically operated an "embassy chapel." He held services for Russian and Greek officials stationed in America, he ministered to the few Orthodox Christians...

St Raphael’s Consecration


    St Raphael was consecrated Bishop of Brooklyn on March 13, 1904, by St Tikhon and Bishop Innocent of Alaska (not to be confused with the earlier St Innocent). What follows is a little article I wrote on the consecration. My plan is to include the article in a...