Biography of Father Mateusz Bryńczak

Born in 1864 in Sukhozhebri, Ukraine. Graduated from Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1892 for the Diocese of Lutsk-Zhytomyr. From 1901 he was administrator of a parish in Samgorodok, Berdychiv deanery; from 1914, parishes in Kazatin and Belolovka, where he was arrested in 1930 along with a group of parishioners and banished for three years. Sent to Tomsk [Western Siberia] where he appealed to the authorities concerning registration as a “cult worker,” stating that during the war in Ukraine he had turned over both the church and his own home for sheltering residents who had been left homeless, and at the end of April 1920 he had hidden and nursed a wounded Red Army soldier back to health. The authorities refused to allow his registration. April 25, 1931 – arrested along with Father Julian Groński, but released in March 1932 for lack of facts constituting a crime. February 10, 1932 – again arrested. June 27, 1933 – banished to Eastern Siberia for another three years. July 17 – sent by convoy to Krasnoyarsk Prison for transshipment to Kazachinsk, Krasnoyarsk oblast. August 1, 1931 he had appealed to the Polish Red Cross to help him go to Poland, to his brother’s and an elderly servant, Elena Pewenko. On June 2, 1932, he had appealed to the Polish embassy with the same request. September 8 he appealed to the GPU with an application for substituting deportation to Poland for his banishment. February 9, 1933 – arrested and charged with espionage and carrying out “religious propaganda.” He did not acknowledge guilt, even though he did not hide the fact that he had baptized children. June 27, 1933 – banished for three years. In 1933 the Polish Red Cross received a letter from Father Mateusz stating that he could not find work and that he expected to starve to death; then on September 8 he found out that his appeal to the GPU had led to the change of his place of exile from Tomsk to Eastern Siberia, to much worse conditions. In March 1935 he was released from exile and moved to Tomsk. He submitted documents to the Polish Red Cross to be placed on a list of prisoners for exchange with Poland, but the authorities refused his name. His last request was an appeal to the Polish Red Cross for permission to say Mass once in Tomsk. October 5, 1936 – the Polish Red Cross conveyed to Poland information about his death in Tomsk in the first half of 1936 (exact date of death unknown). He was buried in Tomsk by Father Anton Zhukovsky, in the old Catholic cemetery near the chapel. Source: GARF, f. 8406, op. 2, d. 526; Osipova (1996), p. 154; Dzwonkowski (1998), pp. 172-174; Madała, p. 28
Variant Names:
Brinchak, Matveĭ Mikhaĭlovich; Bryńczak, Mateusz
Z︠H︡ytomyr (Ukraine); Lut︠s︡ʹk (Ukraine); Tomsk (Russia)
male; clergy and religious; survived