''Main Article: [[History of Antiochian Orthodoxy in America]]''
The first Orthodox bishop consecrated in North America, [[Raphael of Brooklyn|St. Raphael Hawaweeny]], was consecrated by the [[Church of Russia|Russian Orthodox Church]] in America to care for the Orthodox Arab faithful in the USA and Canada. The Antiochian Archdiocese in North America traces its genesis to his ministry. His initial arrival in America was not to serve in the episcopacy, however, but he came as an [[archimandrite]] in 1895 at the request of members of the Syrian Orthodox Benevolent Society, an ostensibly philanthropic group whose primary purpose was to maintain ties between Orthodox Arabs living in America. He thus came to the US and was canonically received under the [[omophorion]] of Bishop [[Nicholas (Ziorov) of the Aleutians]], the [[Church of Russia]]'s exarch in America at the time.
Upon arriving in New York, Fr. Raphael established a parish in lower Manhattan, then the center of the Syrian immigrant community. By 1900, however some 3,000 of these immigrants had moved across the East River, shifting the center of their life to Brooklyn. Thus, in 1902, the parish purchased a larger church building in that borough on Pacific Street. The church was named for St. [[Nicholas of Myra|Nicholas the Wonderworker]], renovated for Orthodox worship, and then consecrated on [[October 27]], 1902, by St. [[Tikhon of Moscow]]. St. Nicholas Cathedral was later relocated to State Street in Brooklyn and is today considered the mother cathedral of the Archdiocese.
At the request of St. Tikhon, Fr. Raphael was chosen as his [[auxiliary bishop]], consecrated at St. Nicholas Cathedral as Bishop of Brooklyn and given more authority for his care of Arabic Orthodox Christians in America. Not long after, he founded ''Al-Kalimat'' (''The Word'') magazine, published service books in Arabic which were used in America, the Middle East, and throughout the Arabic Orthodox diaspora. St. Raphael fell asleep in the [[Lord]] at the age of 54 on [[February 27]], 1915, after short, but fruitful, years of service.
[[Image:St Elias Ottawa.jpg|left|thumb|250px|St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral, Ottawa, Canada]]