Very Rev. Raphael Andonian Dies


BELMONT, Mass. — Very Rev. Raphael Andonian, the pastor of the Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Church of Belmont, died on the morning of April 6 after a short battle with cancer.

Andonian, a member of the Mekhitarist Order in Venice, became the pastor of the Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Church in 1993. In 1995 he received the title of Chancellor for All Armenians in the United States and Canada.

According to the church’s website, under the leadership of Andonian, with the financial assistance of Petros Palandjian and his building firm Intercontinental, with the talents of architects Nishan and Florence Nahikian, and with the gifts of philanthropists Nishan and Margrit Atinizian, the church purchased a plot in Belmont on 200 Lexington St. that became the site for the new church. On July 30, after the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated by Bishop Hovhaness Terzakian, Exarch of the Armenian Catholics in the United States and Canada, the groundbreaking for the new church followed with the blessing of the new site. The church was consecrated in 1997.

Many in the community posted heartfelt messages upon hearing the news about Andonian’s passing. Friends, parishioners and even members of many other churches and organizations expressed their sadness on facebook.

He leaves his sister, Anny Andonian Kourie, of Beirut, Lebanon and four nieces and nephews. A brother, Ardashes Andonian, predeceased him.

A funeral mass was held at Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Church on Friday, April 11 at 6 p.m. Respecting the wishes of Andonian, he will be buried at the Mekhitarist Congregation’s Monastery in San Lazzaro, Venice, Italy.

Expressions of sympathy may be made in his memory to Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Church for Kessab Relief Fund.

Arrangements were made by the Giragosian Funeral Home.