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Raphael Morgan

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{{orthodoxyinamerica}}
Very Rev. '''Raphael Morgan''' (born '''Robert Josias Morgan''', 186x/187x - 19xx) was a Jamaican-American [[priest]] of the [[Ecumenical Patriarchate]], designated as ''"[[Missionary|Priest-Apostolic]]"'' (Greek: Ιεραποστολος) to America and the West Indies,<ref group="note">According to Fr. Raphael's biography in the ''Who's Who of the Colored Race'', 1915, after he was ordained to the priesthood:<br>
:"...at a special service he was duly commissioned [[Missionary|Priest-Apostolic ]] from the Ecumenical and Patriarchal Throne of Constantinople to America and the West Indies."<br>(Mather, Frank Lincoln. ''[http://books.google.com/books?id=RFZ2AAAAMAAJ&source=gbs_navlinks_s Who's Who of the Colored Race: A General Biographical Dictionary of Men and Women of African Descent].'' University of Michigan. Gale Research Co., 1915. p.226.)</ref><ref>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. pg.197.</ref> later the founder and superior of the ''Order of the Cross of [[Golgotha]]'',<ref group="note" name="Order">The ''"Order of...",'' could be a any number of things; it could be 1) including: # an honorarium bestowed upon him for service done in the Church; or 2) # an entitling which lets others know of his special mission in the Patriarchate/Diocese etc.; it could also 3) refer to # a Society of monastics which transcends, because of rare circumstances, physical location; in addition, # it is also possible that this was 4) a monastic brotherhood formed for Black Orthodox Christians, since Morgan was referred to as the ''“founder and superior”'' of that religious fraternity, although the formation of formal monastic orders is not traditionally practiced in the Orthodox tradition. The [[Orthodox Church ]] does not have separate Orders (Franciscan, Carmelite etc.) each with an entirely independent rule/ethos of life. <br> Despite being mentioned on many occasions in association with Morgan, no other material has ever been found on the ''Order of the Cross of [[Golgotha]]''.</ref> and thought to be the first Black Orthodox clergyman in America.
He spoke broken Greek, and therefore served mostly in English. Having recently been discovered, his life has garnered great interest, but much of his life still remains shrouded in mystery.
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."'' ''' Other signatories included: Dr. Uriah Smith, Ernest P. Duncan, Ernest R. Jones, H.S. Boulin, Phillip Hemmings, Joseph Vassal, Henry H. Harper, S.C. Box, Aldred Campbell, Hubert Barclay, John Moore, Victor Monroe, Henry Booth, and many others. 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 group="note">If there this is truth to this statementtrue, one possibility is that Fr. Raphael remained with the monastic [[Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre]], of the Greek Orthodox [[Church of Jerusalem]].</ref><ref name="MANOLIS"/>
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.
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