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Raphael Morgan

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[[Image:Raphael_Morgan.jpg|right|frame|Source: ''The Daily Gleaner'' (Kingston, Jamaica). [[July 22]], 1913.]]
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' ({{el icon}}: Ιεραποστολος)'',<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>
:" 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. ''[ 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: '''[ 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 any number of things including:
===Baptism and Ordination===
[[File:Joachim (Phoropoulos) of Pelagonia.jpg|left|thumb|125px|Metr. [[Joachim (Phoropoulos) of Pelagonia]], Fr. Raphael's consecrator.]]On Friday [[August 2]], 1907 the [[Holy Synod]] approved that the [[Baptism]] take place the following Sunday in the ''Church of the Lifegiving Source'' at the [[w:Church of St. Mary of the Spring (Istanbul)|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]] was to officiate at the sacrament, and the [[Godparent|sponsor]] was to be Bishop Leontios (Liverios) of Theodoroupolis, Abbott of the Monastery at Valoukli. On Sunday August 4, 1907, Robert was baptised "Raphael" before 3000 people;<ref name="MATHER"/> 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.<ref name="MANOLIS"/>
===Return to America===
[[File:ALEXANDER-VICTOR-CARTIER.jpg|right|thumb|125px|Rev. Alexander C. Victor Cartier, 8th Rector of ''The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas'' (1906–1912).]]
Ellis Island records indicate the arrival in New York from Naples, Italy, of the priest, Raffaele Morgan, in December 1907.<ref>Lumsden, Joy. ''[ 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.
In 1916 Fr. Raphael was still in Philadelphia, having made the Philadelphia Greek parish his base of operations.<ref>Namee, Matthew. ''[ The First Black Orthodox Priest in America].'' '''''' (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: '''[ 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 [ Greek Community of the Annunciation/Evangelismos] 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 this is true, 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.
'''Fr. Raphael and George McGuire'''<br>
[[File:GEORGE-ALEXANDER-MCGUIRE.jpg|left|thumb|125px|Rev. George Alexander McGuire, 7th Rector of ''The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas'' (1902–1905).]]
Namee questions whence the idea came for McGuire to form namely an ''Orthodox'' church. Fr. Raphael Morgan and George McGuire had some striking similarities, including the facts that both:
* served concurrently or consecutively at [ St Philip's Episcopal Church] in Virginia,<ref group="note">[ St. Philip’s Episcopal Church] of Richmond, Virginia lists Morgan as having been the rector of their parish for a short time in 1901. He is listed as the rector from “1901-April 1901.” Morgan’s predecessor at St. Philip’s was a certain “Reverend [[George Alexander McGuire|George Alexander McQuire]],” who served the parish from April 1898 to November 1900.</ref>
This concurs with Matthew Namee's conclusion above, that it was Fr. Raphael who was George Alexander McGuire's inspiration to form namely an "Orthodox" church. In time the African-based portion of McGuire's ''"African Orthodox Church"'' in Kenya and Uganda, eventually did end up under the canonical jurisdiction of the [[Church of Alexandria|Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa]] in 1946. And although those two churches were already upon their own set path towards full canonical Orthodoxy, McGuire was an important part of that process at one stage, and Fr. Raphael Morgan in turn, was behind McGuire's inspiration to form an "Orthodox" church. In this regard, by planting the seed, it can be said that Fr. Raphael was also in some small measure, indirectly or incidentally, a part of that process in Africa as well.<ref group="note">Orthodoxy in East Africa had a rather unique origin as it was not the result of missionary evangelism, nor was it originally inspired by European/White introduction. Orthodox Christianity was unlike all other denominations, appealling to East Africans, such as the [[w:Kikuyu|Kikuyus]], especially because it was never associated with racism, colonialism or religious imperialism. (Metropolitan [[Makarios (Tillyrides) of Kenya]]. ''[ The Origin of Orthodoxy in East Africa].'')</ref>
In the end, while Fr. Raphael Morgan's work among Jamaicans in Philadelphia appears to have been transitory, nevertheless he did serve as an important precedent for current African American interest in Orthodoxy, <ref group="note">As one historian has commented: "There seems to be some traction between historical Orthodoxy and African Christianity, rediscovered by African American intellectuals like Fr. Raphael Morgan and Professor [[Albert J. Raboteau|Raboteau]]. The African American tradition in the [[Orthodox Church]] is obviously an exception to the rule. Consider Raboteau's colleague at Princeton, [[w:Cornel West|Cornell West]], who has most eloquently addressed Constantinian Christianity in his ''Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight against Imperialism'' (2004). For West and other liberal intellectuals, Orthodoxy's historical connections with empire ([[Byzantine Empire|Byzantium]]) and state ([[Phyletism|modern nationalism]]) is a major turn-off. But for other intellectuals that have arrived to Orthodoxy through Anglicanism/Episcopalianism, the Orthodox tradition is softer and philosophically fundamental." (Kourelis, Kostis. ''"[ Philadelphia Greeks and Their Black Priest.]"'' '''Objects-Building-Situation: Musings on Architecture, Art and History, with Special Focus on Mediterranean Archaeology.''' Thursday, October 29, 2009.)</ref> especially that of Father [ Moses Berry], director of the [ Ozarks African American Heritage Museum], who served as the priest to the [ Theotokos, the “Unexpected Joy,” Orthodox Mission] ([[OCA]]) in Ash Grove, Missouri.<ref name=Oliver/>
==See also==
* [[George Alexander McGuire]].
* [[Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black]].
* [[Albert J. Raboteau]].
==External Links==
* [ Annunciation/default.aspx Evangelismos Greek Orthodox Church], Philadelphia, PA. ''(Fr. Raphael's home parish, ca.~19051907-1916)''
* [[w:Orthodox Christianity in Uganda|Orthodox Christianity in Uganda]] at Wikipedia.
* Sean D. Hamill. ''[ Black Priest Shares Past, Enlightening White Town],'' in: '''The New York Times: Religion Journal.''' January 29, 2010. ''(Print edition: January 30, 2010, on page A12 of the New York edition.)'' (Re: Fr. Moses Berry).
'''Contemporary Sources'''
* ATOR (''African Times and Orient Review''), (Feb. - Mar. 1913), p.163.
* Bragg, Rev. George F. (D.D.). ''Chapter XXXVI: Negro Ordinations from 1866 to the Present''. In: '''[ History of the Afro-American group of the Episcopal church (1922)].''' Baltimore, Md.: Church Advocate Press, 1922.
* Bragg, Rev. George F. (D.D.). ''Afro-American Clergy List. Priests''. In: '''[ Afro-American Church Work and Workers].''' Baltimore, Md.: Church Advocate Print, 1904.
* ''The Jamaica Times''. ''[ Only Negro Who is a Greek Priest].'' April 26, 1913.
* ''Une Conquete du Patriarcat Oecumenique.'' ''' ''Echos d'Orient'' '''. Vol. XI. No.68, 1908, pp.55-56.
:(''Publication of the Roman Catholic Uniate Assumptionist Fathers, located in Chalcedon;''for an online translation of the French article, see: Fr. [[User:ASDamick|Andrew S. Damick]]. ''"[ The Sorcerer on the Golden Horn]."'' '''''' (The Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas). December 15, 2009.)* [[w:Monroe Work|Work, Monroe N.]], (Ed.). ''The Negro Yearbook, an Annual Encyclopedia of the Negro, 1921-1922''. The Negro Year Book Publishing Company: [[w:Tuskegee University|Tuskegee Institute]], 1922. (''1921 edition, p.213.'')
'''Modern Sources'''
* Herbel, Fr. Oliver ([[Orthodox Church in America |OCA]]). “The Relationship of the African Orthodox Church to the Orthodox Churches and Its Importance for Appreciating the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black,” Black Theology (forthcoming).
* ''[[w:Joseph René Vilatte|Joseph René Vilatte]]'' at Wikipedia.
* Kourelis, Kostis. ''"[ Philadelphia Greeks and Their Black Priest.]"'' '''Objects-Building-Situation: Musings on Architecture, Art and History, with Special Focus on Mediterranean Archaeology.''' Thursday, October 29, 2009.
* Lumsden, Joy, MA (Cantab), PhD (UWI). ''[ Father Raphael].''
* Lumsden, Joy. ''[ Robert Josias Morgan, aka Father Raphael].'' '''Jamaican History Month 2007.''' February 16, 2007.
* Namee, Matthew. ''[ Fr. Raphael Morgan: America's First Black Orthodox Priest.]'' '''16th Annual Ancient Christianity & African-American Conference'''. June 03, 2009.
* Namee, Matthew. ''"[ Robert Josias Morgan visits Russia, 1904]."'' '''''' (The Society for Orthodox Chrisitan History in the Americas). September 15, 2009.
* Namee, Matthew. ''"[ Fr. Raphael Morgan against Marcus Garvey]."'' '''''' (The Society for Orthodox Chrisitan History in the Americas). March 29, 2010.
* White, Gavin. ''Patriarch McGuire and the Episcopal Church.'' In: Randall K. Burkett and Richard Newman (Eds.). '''Black Apostles: Afro-American Clergy Confront the Twentieth Century.''' G. K. Hall, 1978. pp.151-180.
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