This section of our website is dedicated to our on-going historical research into the life of the Reverend Nicola Yanney. Father Nicola was the first priest ordained by St. Raphael of Brooklyn. After his ordination, Father Nicola was assigned as the pastor of the newly-formed St. George Orthodox Church in Kearney, Nebraska. Simultaneously, he was given a large missionary territory to administer.
For months at a time, Father Nicola would leave his home and family in Kearney, Nebraska, traveling across the central United States to serve the scattered faithful. Often, Father Nicola visited small groups of families which eventually developed into parish communities; at other times, he ministered to an isolated Orthodox family or individual. Father Nicola served as both a parish priest and a missionary for over 14 years, before departing this life in late 1918. May his memory be eternal!
At the request of the preeminent Orthodox historian Matthew Namee, our pastor recently wrote a brief reflection on the life of Father Nicola Yanney that was posted on the website for the Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas. Matthew Namee is one of the directors of SOCHA and, along with other contributors, is doing some very fine research. Check out SOCHA's website, as well as Matthew's blog, Notes on Church History. You can read the article on Father Nicola–"A Man of Sorrows and of Faith"–by clicking here.
A recent presentation on the life and ministry of Father Nicola Yanney, given at Saint George Orthodox Church in Kearney, Nebraska. The video is approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes in length.
An audio recording of the recent presentation on the life of Father Nicola Yanney. The presentation is approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes in length.
A video of our recent quest to pinpoint the site of the Yanney family homestead in Valley Township, Nebraska. The Nicola Yanney family lived on their isolated homestead from 1895-1904. It was the site of some of their greatest joys and most profound sorrows.
While Father Nicola Yanney occasionally visited communities outside the boundaries of this area, most of his missionary activities were concentrated within the territory outlined in this map. To the Syrian Orthodox faithful scattered throughout this vast region, Father Nicola was not simply as an itinerant priest, but was often seen as the beloved pastor and religious leader of their communities.
During the course of his priestly ministry, Father Nicola performed:
* at least 910 Baptisms (we do not have the baptismal records from the final year of his life).
* 10 Chrismations.
* 107 Marriages.
* 36 Funerals.
* regular pastoral visitations to over 100 different communities.
95th Anniversary of Father Nicola Yanney's repose
On November 3rd, a group of faithful from St. George gathered at the graveside of Father Nicola to prayer the Trisagion Prayers for the 95th anniverary of his repose. Father Nicola's funeral took place on November 4th, 1918. May his memory be eternal!
A brief timeline of the events in Father Nicola Yanney's life and a list of his missionary journeys as based upon his sacramental records–revised January 2014. Pdf format (13 MB). Click here.
An interactive map of the 99 known communities served by Father Nicola Yanney. This list is based on Father Nicola's records of baptisms, chrismations, marriages, and funerals. Several town names listed in his original records were undiscernable and thus are not listed. Places that Father Nicola likely visited to serve the Divine Liturgy but did not administer a baptism, chrismation, marriage, or funeral are not known.
In late October of 2008, St. George Orthodox Church hosted a diocesan pilgrimage in honor of Father Nicola Yanney on the 90th anniverasry of his repose. Click here to see photos and read more about the event.