Biography of Servant of God, Father Stanisƚaw Szulmiński, SAC

Biographical Description: Born in 1894 in Odessa. Graduated from high school in Kamianets-Podilskyi. In 1917 he enrolled in Zhytomyr Seminary, but in 1919 he left for Poland for he finished his seminary studies in Łuck [Lutsk]. He immediately told his bishop of his desire to serve in the Diocese of Kamianets in Ukraine. The bishop would not consent and sent him instead to further his studies at Lublin Catholic University. August 2, 1927 – he appealed to Pope Pius XI, through the Bishop of Łuck, for permission to go to Ukraine, although he knew very well of the mass arrests of priests in Ukraine. In 1928 he entered the Congregation of Pallatines. He became a professor of theology at Łuck Diocesan Seminary and at the Pallatine Seminary in Ożarów, outside Warsaw. In 1935 he again appealed to Pope Pius XI, and then in 1937 to the General of the Pallatines for permission to serve in the USSR. Wishing to realize his missionary vocation, but not receiving permission to go into the USSR, he founded the “Apostolate of Reconciliation.” He had also thought of founding a new branch of his order for the Eastern Rite, which would minister in the USSR. He was simultaneously studying to become a medical assistant, so that he would at some time in the future be able to work among people in need. Well understanding the conditions under which one would serve in the USSR, Fr. Stanisƚaw asked the Pope for permission to celebrate Mass without items required under usual circumstances [vestments, candles, missal, relics]. Fr. Stanisƚaw was a realist. His yearning bespoke his readiness for a martyr’s death, and it was realized in a very unexpected manner. During the Soviet occupation he remained in the parish in Navahrudak. On October 24, 1939, he was arrested on charges of “espionage on behalf of America,” which seems odd. He was sent to a prison in Baranovichi, where he spent ten months, but he did not sign the protocols [minutes] of the interrogation. August 21, 1940 – sentenced to five years in corrective labor camp and in March 1941 he was sent to Ukhtizhemlag (Ukhta, Komi ASSR). In the camp he undoubtedly secretly heard confessions and helped his fellow inmates in whatever way he could. August 1, 1941 – amnestied, but his exit from the camp was held up, evidently on account of his active petitioning for the amnesty of other convicts. It is also possible that he voluntarily remained in the camp for pastoral ministry among the convicts, with whom, according to the memoirs of those who were in the camp with him, he shared his bread. Died in the camp on November 27, 1941. Translator’s Note: Fr. Stanisƚaw Szulmiński, SAC, is among the sixteen candidates for beatification in a cause opened in 2003, Russian New Martyrs. Sources: Information provided by Fr. Roman Dzwonkowski, SAC; Madaƚa, p. 152; see also