Obituary: Father Raphael Andonian

The Armenian Catholic Eparchy of our Lady of Nareg in the Unites States and Canada, the Armenian Mekhitarist religious order, the Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Parish Council and faithful with heartfelt sorrow inform you that our beloved brother, Father Raphael Andonian, pastor of Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Church in Belmont, passed to eternal rest on Sunday April 6, 2014, in the morning. After battling cancer for seven months and fortified by the Sacraments of the Catholic Church, he peacefully commended his spirit into the hands of the Lord.

Fr. Raphael Andonian
Fr. Raphael Andonian

The very reverend Fr. Raphael was born in Aleppo, Syria, on January 14, 1941. After his preliminary studies in his native country he arrived to St. Lazarus in Venice (Italy) on March 8, 1953 at the Mekhitarist monastery. He made his perpetual vows in 1962; hence, becoming member of the Mekhitarist Order on the feast of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was ordained priest in 1965 at the completion of his philosophical and theological studies, at the Gregorian University in Rome.

His first mission assignment was to serve at the Samuel Mouradian College in Paris as vice-principal and later principal of the school. He also served as teacher, assistant director and director of Mourad-Raphaelian College in Venice. He served as chief financial officer of the Mekhitarist religious order of St. Lazzarus in Venice.

His last ministry was to shepherd the Armenian Catholic parish of Boston where he was totally devoted for the last 20 years of his life. His major accomplishment was relocating and building the new church and parish center of Holy Cross Armenian Catholic parish in Belmont.

Father Raphael contributed to the armenological Mekhitarist periodical, “Pazmaveb,” with numerous articles. He also translated several pastoral letters and encyclicals into Armenian: “Redeemer of Mankind” by Blessed John Paul II and both “God is Love” and “Gate of Faith” by Pope Benedict XVI.

Condolences will be received on Wednesday April 9 and Thursday April 10 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Church (200 Lexington St., Belmont, MA 02478.) Funeral Mass will be held on Friday April 11, 2014, at 6:00 PM at Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Church (200 Lexington St., Belmont, MA 02478.)

Respecting the wish of Fr. Raphael, his body will be transported to St. Lazarus, Mother Monastery of the Mekhitarist Order in Venice, where funeral and burial services will take place.

In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Church. Your contributions will be dedicated to benefit the displaced Armenian families of Kessab.

Eternal rest, grant unto him O Lord: and let perpetual light shine upon him.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.


  1. Adsvadz lousavore hokin.
    Dubavorich antznavoroutyoun er.
    Var bahenk ir hishadagu.

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