Biography of Father Peter Baranowski

Born into a family of the nobility in Orsha, Mogiliev province, in 1882. Graduated from the Theological Seminary and Theological Academy in St. Petersburg and was ordained in 1906. From 1908 he served as vicar of the parish in Nesvizh, Slutsk deanery; from 1910, as administrator of the parish in Chachersk, Gomel deanery; from 1912, in Nezhin; from 1917, again as vicar of the parish in Nesvizh; from 1922, as pastor of St. Barbara parish and dean of Vitebsk deanery; from 1925, as administrator of a parish in Chernihiv, Kharkiv deanery; from 1926, again as vicar of the parish in Nezhin, where, on April 26, 1929, he was arrested; September 20, 1929, sentenced under Article 58-4 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR to ten years in corrective labor camps [Special Troika, OGPU Collegium]. Sent to Solovetsky Special Purpose Camp, where he arrived October 16. In 1930 he was transferred to Anzer Island as a prisoner who was “very resolute in the expression of his views.” July 5, 1932, arrested in a case against Catholic clergy who were accused of “creating an anti-Soviet group that was carrying out anti-Soviet agitation, secretly celebrating liturgy and religious rituals and had established illegal contact with a free person for transmitting abroad information of an espionage nature about the situation of Catholics in the USSR.” The investigators petitioned for his transfer to the solitary confinement block at Yaroslavl Prison where he would be held in isolation from all others. He was transported from Solovki to Kem, but was later returned to the Solovetsky camp. February 21, 1937 – transferred to a prison block. October 9, 1937 – sentenced to death [Special Troika, Directorate, NKVD, Leningrad oblast]. November 3, 1937 – shot, in Sandormokh, outside Medvezhegorsk. Excerpt from Interrogation File. On July 8, 1932, Fr. Peter stated at his interrogation: “I consider myself, now as before, a firm defender of Catholicism, and I will never be, nor can I ever be, a proponent of a regime that undertakes anything against Catholicism. Since 1930 I have lived in a priests’ commune on Anzer Island. I am not interested – nor will I ever be interested – in any political questions concerning the life of the Soviet country. If I now had the opportunity, I would engage in an intensive proclamation of Catholicism. I have the whole time been a member of a tightly knit group of priests at Trinity Command Post. A common idea and our belonging to the Catholic Church are what have united us.” Source: GARF, 8406, op. 2, d. 208; Protocols of Sessions of a Special Troika of the Directorate of NKVD, Leningrad oblast; Reznikova, pp. 5, 20, 26; Investigatory Matter 590614, Central Archive, FSB, Russian Federation; Shkarovskii, p. 213; Dzwonkowski (1998), p. 152; Madała, p. 21; Sandormokh Memorial Cemetery, p. 88; Nowicki, p. 7; Osipova (1996), pp. 148-149.
Variant Names:
Baranovskiĭ, Petr Avgustovich; Baranowski, Peter; Baranovsky, Petr
Orsha (Belarus); Saint Petersburg (Russia); Vitsebsk (Belarus)
male; clergy and religious; executed