Union of Two Churches

Rev. Father Dabovich Talks About the Greeks and Episcopalians.

One of the most active church-workers on the Pacific Coast is Rev. Sebastian Dabovich, a priest of the Greek orthodox church, who has a missionary field that extends from the south of California to British Columbia.

In this wanderings the missionary has been strengthened in his conviction that much spiritual good would from a union of the Greek orthodox with the Anglican church.

When asked yesterday about the possibility of this union he said: "The question is being considered by the church authorities. No doubt a decision will be reached before long. Personally, I consider that we were never so near a union as at present."

Father Dabovich then went on to tell how, although a priest of the Greek orthodox church, he was a native Californian and in his early youth had been an intimate friend of Rev. Henry Scott Jeffries, and had learned through him to know something of Episcopal doctrines, and to see their great similarity in many points to his own.

"Although I always favor the thought of this union," he said, "there is no one who indicates the doctrines of his own church with more severity than I, but with the similarity that exists it will not be necessary to make concessions that I for one should be very sorry to see made. One let it be clearly understood that they believe in the apostolic succession and there remains but little more to overcome in order to effect a union, and it is my opinion that the time is not far off when the orthodox Eastern church will be able to unite with the Anglican and Episcopalian church and the Catholic.

"The Eastern church is more progressive now than it ever been before. In past generations it has had to struggle for its very existence against the Turks, the Mongolians and the Magyars, but to-day it is more secure and can turn its attention toward its own internal progress."

Speaking of Bishop Nicholas, he said that he was expected back in San Francisco at the end of November. "He has been visiting in St. Petersburg and Moscow, and at present he is in Southern Russia. Whether he decided to make his headquarters in New York or here, he will certainly pay a visit to the coast. So far as I know, a decision has not been reached with regard to the Bishop's ultimate residence. Personally it is my opinion that he will be left free to make the decision as he sees best. His see embraces the whole of North America, and with such a vast territory he has to consider the interests of the whole diocese in selecting his headquarters.

"In Alaska he has a number of parishes, in Pennsylvania there are five Greek orthodox congregations, one in New York, two in Illinois, two in Minnesota, one in New Orleans, two in California, and one at Portland, Or."

When asked about the California churches the missionary stated that before long a third would be added, as Los Angeles had shown itself anxious to build a sanctuary of its own and have a resident priest. Most of the members of the Greek communion in Los Angeles are Russians. Temporary services have been held among them for some time, whenever a missionary of their church visited Los Angeles, but it has been decided to build within the next ten months.

The Los Angeles church will be of very much the same character as the building which was erected by members of the Greek church in Jackson, Amador County, about a year ago. Some members of this congregation live as far as thirty miles from the church, but they manage to get there pretty regularly notwithstanding. Buggies, wagons and horses that have traveled from afar are congregated round the little church every Sunday. Not a few of the flock come from far beyond the county line. It is energy such as this that makes the Greek priests realize that there is more vitality than ever before in their church to-day.

The San Francisco Call, Friday, July 19, 1895.

Reprinted in the Holy Trinity Cathedral LIFE, Vo.1, No. 6, February 1994.

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