We Must Have a Bishop

Over at Orthodox History today, I published a 1914 editorial from a Greek newspaper in Chicago, arguing that the Greek Orthodox in America needed their own bishop. (CLICK HERE to read it). Greek churches began proliferating in America in the 1890s, and by 1916 (two years after the editorial), there were 87 Greek parishes in America. Originally, these parishes got their priests from either the Church of Greece or the Ecumenical Patriarchate…

A Pan-Orthodox Liturgy in Chicago in 1934

On December 16, 1934, the Orthodox of Chicago held a landmark pan-Orthodox liturgy that included Greek and Russian Metropolia bishops, as well as clergy from the local Serbian and Romanian churches. Here’s an article on the liturgy from the Chicago Greek Daily (Dec. 9, 1934): Next Sunday, Dec. 16, 7:30 P.M., in the church of St. Constantine and Helene, will take place a Grand Vesper, in which the Most Rev. Kallistos of San Francisco,…

Did an Athonite monk visit President Ulysses S. Grant? (UPDATED)

In 1869, a priest from Mount Athos paid a visit to the sitting President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. At least, that’s what was reported on the front page of the Aug. 18, 1869 issue of the North American and United States Gazette (published in Philadelphia): The Rev. Father Christopher, a Greek priest from Mount Athos, has lately called upon President Grant. He is said to be a very learned man, and…

Unifying the Orthodox Church in the United States

Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick has an excellent new article today at First Things, where he discusses the problems and solutions of Orthodox Christian unity in America. Here’s an excerpt: Are you Greek?” This is the question I get asked the most when I tell someone that I am an Orthodox Christian. At first, this question rankled, because I am not Greek. (I am, among other things, Lithuanian.) Mind you, I would have…

A Wedding at the Holy Sepulchre in Missouri

110 years ago this week, St. Raphael Hawaweeny officiated at a wedding in St. Louis. The English bride and Arab groom had a rather romantic backstory, and the wedding took place at the imitation Holy Sepulchre in the “Jerusalem” exhibit at the St. Louis World’s Fair. The newspaper article below appeared in the Bellingham Herald (10/1/1904): It was a great event, this marriage of a fair haired English girl and dark-skinned Syrian. In…

A (very) 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: Orthodoxy took root in America at the turn of the 20th century because of the immigration of Orthodox people from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean and the mass conversion of Eastern Rite…