Rev. Raymond J. Rafferty


CRANSTON —The Reverend Raymond J. Rafferty, 87, Pastor Emeritus of St. Paul, Cranston, R.I., died October 12, 2015.

Born in Greenore, Co. Louth, Ireland, son of the late Patrick J. and Catherine (McCourt) Rafferty, he attended Boher National School, Greenore and Christian Brothers’ School in Dundalk, Ireland.

In preparation for the priesthood, he studied at St. Patrick’s College, Armagh, and St. Peter’s College in Wexford, Ireland. He was ordained a priest on June 6, 1954 in Wexford, Ireland, by the Most Rev. James Staunton of Ferns. He was incardinated into the Diocese of Providence on June 25, 1960.

Father Rafferty served as assistant pastor at St. Anthony Church in Harlingen, Texas (1954-57); at Sacred Heart Church in East Providence (1957-69); at St. Paul Church in Cranston (1969-73).

In May 1973, he was appointed pastor of St. Mary Church in Carolina; transferred to St. Philip’s Church in Greenville in September 1978 and from there to St. Paul’s Church in Cranston in January 1991. He remained there until January 1997 when he retired as Pastor Emeritus.

After his retirement, Father Rafferty, from time to time, offered his priestly ministry in the Archdiocese of Armagh in Ireland and in the Diocese of St. Petersburg in Florida, and retained his residency at St. John Vianney Residence in Providence.

In addition to his parish ministry, Father Rafferty served also as Dean of Washington County South #10 (1978); Vicar for Parochial Affairs for District II (1982); and Deanery Vicar for Providence North, Region #6 (1986). Also in 1982, he was appointed a member of the Board of Consultors for the Diocese.

In the Fall of 1994, he made sabbatical studies at the North American College in Rome, Italy.

Father Rafferty leaves a brother, Desmond A. Rafferty, several cousins, Herman and Dorothy Reinius, Clancy and Veronica Casella, and Dierdre Toomey. He was predeceased by his sisters, Maureen M. Carragher and Kathleen Reavey.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered for the repose of his soul on October 20 in Saint Paul Church, Cranston with Bishop Thomas J. Tobin as the main celebrant and Bishops Robert C. Evans, Louis E. Gelineau, Frances X. Roque and other priests concelebrating. Rev. Dennis J. Kieton, chaplain at St. Antoine Residence, was the homilist. He will be buried in Boher Cemetery, County Louth, Ireland.