The Odd Adventures of an Early Serbian Priest

Fr. Philip Sredanovich is one of the strangest parish priests I’ve ever run across in my research of Orthodoxy in America. He was born in Montenegro in 1881. He seems to have been educated and married in Russia (the 1920 U.S. Census says that his wife was born in Russia). Fr. Philip came to America just after the turn of the 20th century. In 1908, he made headlines nationwide for his supposed invention of a device to travel…

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 the history of Orthodoxy in America is discovering a holy person who’s been completely forgotten. It’s commonly — and correctly…

Archbishop Wasyl Sawyna and the Orthodox Cathedral of Emmaus, PA

Today is the 26th anniversary of the passing from this life of Archbishop Wasyl Sawyna (Feb. 24, 1893 – Oct. 13, 1988), primate of the Ukrainian Autocephalic Orthodox Church of North and South America, an uncanonical church with, as far as I can tell, only one church that it ever claimed. The picture above was his archepiscopal see—the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Basil the Great in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. At 840 square…

Bishop Demetrios of Olympus

As I mentioned in my “This Week” post, on September 14, 1951, Fr. Demetrios Makris was consecrated a bishop for the Greek Archdiocese, with the title “Bishop of Olympus” (yes, that Olympus). This was back when the GOA had a single Archdiocese composed of a series of “Archdiocesan Districts,” each overseen by a titular bishop but ultimately answerable to the Greek Archbishop. Later, those Districts became Dioceses (and their leaders diocesan bishops),…