Biography of Bishop Maurice Marie Felix Amoudrou, OP

Born August 31, 1878, in Jura Department, France, into the family of a lawyer. He studied in Jerusalem where he completed major seminary and earned a doctorate in theology. He entered the Dominican Order, taking the name Jean in religious life. Ordained September 21, 1901. From 1901 he was a professor of apologetics in Jerusalem; from 1902, a professor at the University in Ottawa, Canada, and then later was at Notre Dame de La Merci Priory in Montreal. In October 1907 he returned to France; in November 1907 he left for St. Petersburg; from 1908 he served as pastor of Notre Dame Church; he blessed the church upon completion of construction; taught French at the seminary. From March 1923 he also became head of Immaculate Conception Church in Petrograd; from 1926, St. Peter’s in Kolpino outside Leningrad; and from 1929 he tended most of the parishes in Leningrad and its suburbs, all the while continuing to serve as pastor at Notre Dame. Father Jean was constantly subjected to blackmail, surveillance, and searches and repeatedly summoned to interrogation. The GPU considered him the “chief of French intelligence operations.” In early 1934, in Moscow and Leningrad, there were mass arrests of Catholics in a case fabricated by the GPU against a “counter-revolutionary Catholic organization in Leningrad,” and in the materials found in the investigatory files Father Jean is repeatedly mentioned. The following excerpts are from the “Indictment” in the file of a branch of this organization: “In December 1933 a counter-revolutionary Catholic organization, led by Abbot [sic] Amoudrou, a French subject, and his closest assistant, the Catholic nun Julia Nikolayevich Danzas, was operationally liquidated; the organization was a branch of an All-Union counter-revolutionary Catholic organization headed by the Catholic Bishop Neveu, resident at the French Embassy in Moscow, and carried out counter-revolutionary work in accord with directives from the Moscow Center.” April 30, 1935, after Bishop Antoni Malecki departed for Poland, with the consent of Pope Pius XI, Bishop Neveu consecrated Father Jean bishop and appointed him Apostolic Administrator of Leningrad. August 14, 1935 – Bishop Amoudrou was forced to depart for France after the authorities learned that he had been made bishop. He was received in an audience by Pope Pius XI in February 1936 and gave a detailed account of the situation of the Catholic Church in the USSR. From August 1935 he served as confessor for Dominican Sisters at a convent in Chateau-Thierry; from 1936, at a convent in Pensne; later, at St. Augustine House in Onzain, in the Loire canton; from 1959 he was in a home for the elderly in Rouen, where he died on October 12, 1961. Buried in the city cemetery of Bon Secours. Source: Dzwonkowski, pp. 137-138; Shkarovskii, pp. 212-213.
Variant Names:
Amudriu, Moris-Maria-Feliks Stanislavovich; Amoudrou, Maurice Marie Felix
Jura (France); Jerusalem; Ottawa (Canada); Montréal (Québec); Saint Petersburg (Russia); Rome (Italy); Rouen (France)
male; clergy and religious; survived