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Raphael Morgan

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On [[August 2]], 1907 the [[Holy Synod]] approved that the [[Baptism]] take place the following Sunday in the ''Church of the Lifegiving Source'' at the Patriarchal Monastery at Valoukli, in Constantinople.<ref group="note">The Patriarchal Monastery at Valoukli is where the cemetery with the graves of the [[List of Patriarchs of Constantinople|Patriarchs]] is found.</ref> Metropolitan [[Joachim (Phoropoulos) of Pelagonia|Joachim]] was to officiate at the sacrament, and the [[Godparent|sponsor]] was to be Bishop Leontios (Liverios) of Theodoroupolis, Abbott of the Monastery at Valoukli. Robert was baptised "Raphael" before 3000 people; subsequently he was ordained a [[deacon]] on [[August 12]], 1907 by Metropolitan Joachim; and finally ordained a [[Presbyter|priest]] on the feast of the [[Dormition]] of the [[Theotokos]], [[August 15]], 1907.<ref group="note">In a letter from the Chief Archivist of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, dated [[April 4]], 1973, it was confirmed that the records of the Patriarchate show that Morgan was baptized and renamed "Raphael". (Manolis, Paul G. ''Raphael (Robert) Morgan: The First Black Orthodox Priest in America''. '''Theologia: Epistēmonikon Periodikon Ekdidomenon Kata Trimēnian'''. (En Athenais: Vraveion Akadēmias Athēnōn), 1981, vol.52, no.3, pp.467.)</ref> According to the contemporary [[Eastern Catholic Churches|Uniate]] periodical ''L'Echo d' Orient'', which sarcastically described Morgan's Baptism of triple immerson, the Metropolitan conducted the sacraments of Baptism and Ordination in the English language, following which Fr. Raphael chanted the [[Divine Liturgy]] in English.<ref>''Une Conquete du Patriarcat Oecumenique.'' ''' ''Echos d'Orient'' '''. Vol. XI. No.68, 1908, pp.55-56.</ref> Fr. Raphael Morgan's conversion to the Greek Orthodox Church made him the first African American Orthodox priest.
Fr. Raphael was sent back to America with vestments, a [[cross]], and 20 pounds sterling for his traveling expenses. He was allowed to hear [[Confession|confessions]], but denied [[Chrism|Holy Chrism]] and an [[antimension]], presumably to attach his missionary ministry to the Philadelphia church. The minutes of the Holy Synod from [[October 2]], 1907, made it clear in fact that Fr. Raphael was to be under the jurisdiction of Rev. Petrides of Philadelphia, until such time as he had been trained in liturgics and was able to establish a separate Orthodox parish.<refname=MANOLIS>Manolis, Paul G. ''Raphael (Robert) Morgan: The First Black Orthodox Priest in America''. '''Theologia: Epistēmonikon Periodikon Ekdidomenon Kata Trimēnian'''. (En Athenais: Vraveion Akadēmias Athēnōn), 1981, vol.52, no.3, pp.468464-480.</ref>
===Return to America===
Ellis Island records indicate the arrival in New York from Naples, Italy, of the priest, Raffaele Morgan, in December 1907.<ref>Lumsden, Joy. ''[http://jamaicanhistorymonth2007.moonfruit.com/#/father-raphael/4520858082 Robert Josias Morgan, aka Father Raphael].'' '''Jamaican History Month 2007.''' February 16, 2007.</ref> Once home, Fr. Raphael baptized his wife and children in the Orthodox Church. This is noted in the minutes of the Holy Synod of [[February 9]], 1908, which acknowledges receipt of a communication from Fr. Raphael.
The last mention of Fr. Raphael in Patriarchal records is in the minutes of the Holy Synod of [[November 4]], 1908, which cite a letter from Fr. Raphael recommending an Anglican priest of Philadelphia, named "A.C.V. Cartier",<ref group="note">A.C.V. Cartier is listed on a list of Afro-American Priests as follows: ''"1895: Rev. A.C.V. Cartier, Denver Col."'' (Bragg, Rev. George F. (D.D.). ''Afro-American Clergy List. Priests''. In: '''[http://www.archive.org/details/afroamericanchur00bragiala Afro-American Church Work and Workers].''' Baltimore, Md.: Church Advocate Print, 1904. p.32.)</ref> as a candidate for conversion to Orthodoxy and ordination as a priest. Cartier was rector of the [http://www.aecst.org/home.htm African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas], in Philadelphia, from 1906-12.<ref group="note">[[George Alexander McGuire]] was rector of The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in Philadelphia from 1902-05. He was succeeded as rector by A.C.V. Cartier (1906-12), the man whom Morgan recommended to the [[Church of Constantinople|Ecumenical Patriarchate]] for Orthodox ordination.</ref> Saint Thomas' served the African American elite of Philadelphia and was one of the most prestigious congregations in African American Christianity, having been started in 1794 by [[w:Absalom Jones|Absalom Jones]], one of the founders, together with [[w:Richard Allen (bishop)|Richard Allen]], of the [[w:w:African Methodist Episcopal Church|African Methodist Episcopal Church]]. According to the letter, Cartier desired as an Orthodox priest to undertake missionary work among his fellow blacks. Due to the fact that the jurisdiction over the Greek Church of the [[diaspora]] had been ceded by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the [[Church of Greece]] in 1908, the request was forwarded there. However according to Greek-American historian Paul G. Manolis, a search of the Archives of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece did not turn up any correspondence with Fr. Raphael. His letter about A.C.V. Cartier is the only indication we have from Church records of his missionary efforts among his people.<ref>Manolis, Paul G. ''Raphael (Robert) Morgan: The First Black Orthodox Priest in America''. '''Theologia: Epistēmonikon Periodikon Ekdidomenon Kata Trimēnian'''. (En Athenais: Vraveion Akadēmias Athēnōn), 1981, vol.52, no.3, pp.470-71.<name="MANOLIS"/ref>
In 1909, his wife filed for divorce, on the alleged charges of cruelty and failure to support their children. She left with their son Cyril to Delaware County, where she remarried.
In 1916 Fr. Raphael was still in Philadelphia, having made the Philadelphia Greek parish his base of operations.<ref>Namee, Matthew. ''[http://orthodoxhistory.org/?p=244 The First Black Orthodox Priest in America].'' '''OrthodoxHistory.org''' (The Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas). July 15, 2009.</ref> The last documentation of Fr. Raphael comes from a letter to the ''Daily Gleaner'' on [[October 4]], 1916. Representing a group of about a dozen other like-minded Jamaican-Americans, he wrote in to protest the lectures of Black Nationalist Marcus Garvey.<ref group="note">Fr. Raphael signed the letter as ''' ''"Father Raphael, O.C.G., Priest-Apostolic, the Greek-Orthodox Catholic Church."'' '''The full text of the signed letter is printed in:<br>Robert A. Hill, Marcus Garvey, Universal Negro Improvement Association. ''Letter Denouncing Marcus Garvey.'' In: '''[http://books.google.ca/books?id=CKJrUKdSZwkC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_navlinks_s The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers: 1826-August 1919].''' University of California Press, 1983. pp.196-197.</ref> Garvey's views on Jamaica, they felt, were damaging to both the reputation of their homeland and its people, enumerating several objections to Garvey's stated preference for the prejudice of the American whites over that of English whites.<ref name=Oliver/> Garvey's response came ten days later, in which he called the letter a conspiratorial fabrication meant to undermine the success and favour he had gained while in Jamaica and in the United States.
Little is known of Fr. Raphael's life after this point, except from some interviews conducted in the 1970s between Greek-American historian Paul G. Manolis and surviving members of the [http://evangelismos.us/default.aspx Greek Community of the Annunciation] in Philadelphia, who recalled the black priest who was evidently a part of their community for a period of time. One elderly woman, Grammatike Kritikos Sherwin, remembered that Fr Raphael's daughter left to attend Oxford; another parishioner, Kyriacos Biniaris, recalls that Morgan, whose hand "he kissed many times", spoke broken Greek and served with Fr. Petrides reciting the liturgy mostly in English; whilst another, a George Liacouras, recalled that after serving in Philadelphia for some years, Fr. Raphael left for Jerusalem, never to return.<ref>Manolis, Paul G. ''Raphael (Robert) Morgan: The First Black Orthodox Priest in America''. '''Theologia: Epistēmonikon Periodikon Ekdidomenon Kata Trimēnian'''. (En Athenais: Vraveion Akadēmias Athēnōn), 1981, vol.52, no.3, pp.469.<name="MANOLIS"/ref> The [[Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America]] has no record either of Fr. Raphael Morgan, nor of Fr. Demetrios Petrides, as the first records for the Philadelphia community in the archives only began in 1918.
==Influence==
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