Biography of Father Julian Groński

Born in 1877 in Chepel, Skopshinsk county, Kovno province. Graduated from St. Petersburg Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1903 for the Archdiocese of Mogiliev. From 1906 he served in the parish in Tolochin, Orshansk deanery; from 1907, in Chechersk, Gomel deanery, and the chapel in Lushevo, outside Minsk; from 1911, at St. Albert parish in Riga; from 1915, as chaplain of the Fifth Army; from 1917, at the chapel in Remni, Vitebsk deanery; from 1918, pastor of the parish in Irkutsk and also served the parish in Andreyevskoye, outside Tomsk. November 1, 1926 – appointed administrator of the Siberian Vicariate; was also dean of Tomsk; in February 1929 he went to [Siberian] Belostok to care for that parish as well. April 25, 1931 – arrested in Tomsk in a case against Catholic clergy and laymen, in which were also arrested almost all the members of the parish council, the organist Stanisƚaw Bach and Father Mateusz Bryńczak, who had been exiled earlier to Tomsk. Mass arrests occurred also among the laity from parishes in Barnaul, Omsk, Novosibirsk and the villages that Father Julian had served, Andreyevskoye and Belostok. During the investigation, confessions were squeezed out of many of the accused, stating that Father Julian spoke out against collectivization and that he hid gold. As a result of “witness” statements, Father Julian was indicted on charges of “counter-revolutionary activity, espionage on behalf of Poland, hostile agitation, and hiding gold.” He was then transported to Moscow for further investigation and held in the inner GPU sector of Lubyanka. March 7, 1932 – sentenced to ten years in corrective labor camp. Sent to Mariinsk sector of Siblag, then in August transferred to Solovetsky Special Purpose Camp. In 1933 he was transported to Moscow and held in Butyrka until he was released and sent to Lithuania in a prisoner exchange. After his arrival in Lithuania he was called to Rome to give an account of the situation of the Catholic Church in the USSR. From 1936 he served in a parish in Panoterai, Zeimensk deanery, and later became vice-dean in Krakes. Fate thereafter unknown. Sources: Archive of Krasnoyarsk “Memorial”; Archive of the Directorate, FSB, Russian Federation, Tomsk oblast; Bol’ liudskaia; GAKK, f. R-2052, op. 1, d. 71; Dzwonkowski (1998), pp. 243-245; Osipova (1996), p. 162
Variant Names:
Groński, Julian; Gronskiĭ, I︠U︡lian Mikhaĭlovich
Kaunas (Lithuania); Saint Petersburg (Russia); Mahili︠o︡ŭ (Belarus); Tolochin (Belarus); Chachėrsk (Belarus); Minsk (Belarus); Rīga (Latvia); Vitsebsk (Belarus); Irkutsk (Russia); Andreyevskoye (Russia); Białystok (Poland); Tomskai︠a︡ oblastʹ (Russia); Moscow (Russia); Kemerovskai︠a︡ oblastʹ (Russia); Arkhangelʹskai︠a︡ oblastʹ (Russia); Moscow (Russia); Lithuania; Rome; Krakės (Lithuania)
male; clergy and religious; fate unknown