Jesuit Father Enrico “Rigo” Raulli passed away peacefully in New York City on Jan. 6, 2016, the Feast of the Epiphany.
Fr. Raulli was born in Syracuse on Jan. 18, 1932, the son of Paul and Rose Raulli who were immigrants from Tocco da Casauria in the Abruzzo region of Italy. Fr. Raulli was a graduate of the old North High School and then attended LeMoyne College before entering the seminary. He was ordained a priest in the Jesuits in 1965 and he celebrated his first mass at the old St. Peter’s Church in Syracuse. He had recently celebrated his 50th year in the priesthood.
He fulfilled his vocation primarily as a high school teacher of English literature and creative writing first at Brooklyn Prep, then at Canisius High School in Buffalo, New York, and finally, for many years until his death, at St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Fr. Raulli was a renaissance man. He loved every minute of his life and lived it to the fullest. Whether it was theater (especially Broadway), opera, museums, writing or travel he tirelessly embraced them all. He excelled at tennis, golf, skiing and swimming. An optimistic and compassionate man, his smile would lighten up the room as he entered. He was able to see the best in everyone. He was open to new, progressive ideas in the Church and in the way he looked at life.
Fr. Raulli was well-liked by his students and influenced them to support one another in the learning process and to appreciate the arts.
Although he loved New York City and the Jesuit community he lived in, he spent many of his holidays and summers visiting with his Syracuse family.
He was predeceased by his parents Paul and Rose Raulli and by his brothers Guido and Joseph Raulli. He is survived by his brothers Hugo (Virginia) and Richie (Betty) Raulli, his sister Mary Ann R. Laidlaw (John), his sisters-in-law Teresa and Carmella Raulli, all of Syracuse and by numerous nieces and nephews.