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Raphael McDonald


Fr. Raphael McDonald, OFM Franciscan father, Oil City native, dies at age 86


Franciscan Father Raphael McDonald, 86, of Oil City, died July 11 at the Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J. 


Father Raphael was a friar for 60 years and a priest for 56 years.


He was born in Oil City, a son of the late John and Mary McDonald.  He was baptized at St. Joseph Church, Oil City, and named Robert.


He attended St. Joseph Grammar School and High School, graduating in 1933. He was an outstanding athlete and a member of the high school's highly successful football team.


Father Raphael studied at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind., from 1933-34.  He graduated from St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, N.Y., in 1938 with a bachelor's degree and in 1944 with a master's degree.  In 1944, he attended The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.  In1973, he graduated from Iona College with a master's degree in education.


Father Raphael was received into the Franciscan order on Aug. 12, 1938, in Patterson, N.J., and professed first vows on Aug. 14, 1939.  he made his final vows on Sept. 17, 1942, and was ordained a priest on June 11, 1944, in the Mount Saint Sepulchre Friary, Washington, D.C. 


He served as a pastor in Lima, Peru, from 1974-75; at San Luis Rey Parish, Puerto Rico, from 1958-60; and at Our Lady of Guadalupe, Hebbronville, Texas.  Father Raphael was an assistant pastor at Our Lady's Chapel, New Bedford, Mass., in 1983 and from 1976-77; St. Elizabeth Parish, Denver Colo., from 1962-63; and Ciudad Guzman, Ensenada and Saltillo, Mexico, from 1945-48.


He was director of the Department of Resettlement and Migration and Refugee Service, USCC, for the Diocese of Atlanta, Ga., from 1963-75.  In 1963, Father Raphael was assistant director of the Archdiocesan Spanish Apostolate, Atlanta, Ga., and from 1960-62 was superior or the Bolivia Missions.


From 1983-88, Father Raphael was chaplain of St. Clare Hospital, New York, N.Y.  His assignments also included working as a historian for Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, from 1996-2000 and 1994-95; St. Anthony Friary, St. Petersburg, Fla., in 1996; St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, Mass., from 1989-94; and Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, From 1988-89.


He was brother of the late G. A. McDonald, J. R. McDonald, V.W. McDonald and Mrs. C. V. "Helen" McQuown.


Father Raphael is survived by 18 nieces and nephews, several of whom live in the Oil City and Erie areas.


A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated July  13 at the Holy Name Friary, Ringwood.  Interment was in God's Acre, Ringwood.


Submitted by Tim McDonald



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