Biography of Vera Gorodets (Sister Stefania, OP)

Born in Kiev in 1893. Completed post-secondary education. Lived in Moscow and gave private lessons. She converted to Catholicism and entered the Abrikosova community of Dominican Sisters where she took the name Sr. Stefania. March 10, 1924 – arrested in Moscow in connection with a case against Russian Catholics and imprisoned in Butyrka Prison. May 19, 1924 – sentenced under Article 68 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR to three years’ exile [OGPU Collegium]. Lived in a village outside Tobolsk and released May 9, 1927, under restrictions against living in the six major cities and the borderland regions. Lived in Romny, Poltava region; in 1928 she moved to Kostroma; in 1930, to Odessa; in 1932, to Krasnodar; and in 1933, to Stavropol where in that same year she was arrested and drawn into an investigation concerning a group of Catholics. She was released for “lack of facts constituting a crime.” In 1934 she was living in Tambov where, in 1935, she was again arrested, this time in connection with a case against Catholic clergy. After a closed judicial proceeding in Voronezh on November 16, 1935, she was found not guilty and released November 27 [Special Collegium, Voronezh Dist. Ct.]. She then lived in Maloyaroslavets, which was occupied by the Germans during the war; in September 1942, after the city had been liberated from the Germans, she was again arrested. She was sentenced to five years’ exile and sent to the village of Novo-Shulba, Semipalatinsk region [Kazakhstan], until she was released in September 1947. She returned to Maloyaroslavets and in the summer of 1948 moved to Kaluga. November 30, 1948 – arrested in Kaluga in connection with a case against Catholics. She was accused of “active espionage activity on behalf of the Vatican.” August 17, 1949 – sentenced under Articles 58-1(a), 58-10 and 58-11 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR to ten years in corrective labor camps [Special Board, Ministry of State Security]. Sent to Vorkutlag (Abez, Kozhvinsk region, Komi Autonomous SSR); in 1954 she was transferred to a home for disabled convicts in Ukhta (Komi ASSR), and then released in 1956. She went to Moscow and lived with Sr. Catherine Rubashova, OP. She dedicated herself entirely to her spiritual life. Died May 25, 1974, at age 81. Buried in Khovanskoye Cemetery in Moscow. Sources: Assumptionist Archives, Rome, 2ER.66, p. 1; GARF, f. 8409, op. 1, d. 37, l. 104; d. 39, l. 179; d. 74, l. 40; d. 75, l. 97; d. 78, l. 174-175; d. 114, l. 125; d. 238, l. 190-197; d. 520, l. 54-55; Osipova (1996), p. 162; Osipova (1999), p. 328; Abrikosova et al. (1924); Ott et al.; Sokolovskyi, p. 50
Variant Names:
Gorodets, Vera; Sister Stefania, OP; Gorodets, Vera L'vovna (Stefanii︠a︡
Kiev (Ukraine); Moscow (Russia); Tobolʹsk (Russia); Romny (Ukraine); Kostroma (Kostromskai︠a︡ oblastʹ, Russia); Odesa (Ukraine); Krasnodar (Russia); Stavropolʹ (Stavropolʹskiĭ kraĭ, Russia); Tambov (Russia); Voronezh (Russia); Maloi︠a︡roslavet︠s︡ (Russia); Semeĭ (Kazakhstan); Maloi︠a︡roslavet︠s︡ (Russia); Kaluga (Kaluzhskai︠a︡ oblastʹ, Russia); Abezʹ (Komi, Russia); Ukhta (Komi, Russia); Moscow (Russia)
female; clergy and religious; survived