Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Monday, April 23, 2018

WALLINGFORD – Father George John Raffaeta of Wallingford died on May 26, 2010, at Masonicare Heath Center at age 84.

Father Raffaeta was born Dec. 12, 1925, in New Haven, the son of the late Dina (Mallegni) and Serafino Raffaeta. He was raised in Wallingford, receiving his early education at Whittlesey Avenue Elementary School and graduating from Lyman Hall High School in Wallingford in 1944.

He worked for a time at the H.L. Judd Co. in Wallingford before entering the U.S. Army’s Company B of the 253rd Infantry serving the Rhineland. He served with distinction from August 1944 until June 1946, when he was discharged because of injuries sustained during combat. He received various citations and awards, including the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern (EAME) Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.

He began his seminary studies in 1948 at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield and then finished at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 10, 1956, by Archbishop Henry J. O’Brien at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford.

Father Raffaeta served many parishes in the Archdiocese of Hartford in his nearly 50 years of active ministry. He was administrator of Immaculate Conception Parish in New Hartford in 1956 and then assisted at Our Lady of Lourdes in Waterbury, St. Bernard Parish in Enfield and St. Mary Parish in Derby until he was named chaplain at Hartford Hospital in 1968.

He then was temporary administrator at St. Monica Parish in Northford before becoming assistant pastor of St. George in Guilford and then St. Augustine in Seymour. His first pastorate was in 1975 at Holy Infant Parish in Orange, followed by pastorates at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Meriden from 1982-85 and St. Clare in East Haven and St. Francis Church in New Britain, where he was named pastor emeritus in 1993. He also served at St. Paul in West Haven and St. Agnes in Milford before retiring on Jan. 1, 2001.

Father Raffaeta retired to St. Mary’s Home in West Hartford in 2005 and then moved to Wallingford in 2006.

He is survived by many cousins.

Archbishop Henry J. Mansell celebrated a Mass of Christian Burial on May 29 at Most Holy Trinity Church in Wallingford. Burial followed in St. John Cemetery, also in Wallingford.

Contributions in Father Raffaeta’s name may be sent to Catholics Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA), 1011 First Ave., NY, NY 10022-4195. CNEWA is a charitable group that focuses on humanitarian aid to Africa, India, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.