Biography of Father Felix Lubczyński

Born in 1886 in Starokonstantinov, Volynia province. Graduated from Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1909 for the Diocese of Kamianets. From 1909 he served as vicar of St. Alexander Church in Kiev; from 1916 he was pastor of the parish in Kuna, Podilskyi province; from 1919, in Haisyn; from September 1920, in Kushelevka, near Tulchyn. In September 1920 he was arrested on suspicion of espionage but soon released on petitions of his parishioners. October 1920 – arrested as a “participant in a counter-revolutionary uprising”; sent to Haisyn Prison for further investigation and released in November. In 1921 he was again arrested on suspicion of “organizing an uprising against Soviet power”; held in Tulchyn Prison but again released when it became clear that at the time of the uprising he was in Haisyn Prison. Later he was again arrested on suspicion of “counter-revolutionary activity,” but soon released under an amnesty. He asked his bishop’s permission to leave for Poland, since most of his parishioners had left for Poland with the Polish Army, but he did not receive permission to do so and he remained in the Haisyn parish. In 1922 bandits [partisans?] attacked the parish house in his absence and brutally killed his father and others who were in the house and threw their corpses in a well. After this tragedy Father Felix was unable to remain in Haisyn and at the end of the year he was transferred to Kamianets-Podilskyi. He served in an Armenian church and also in the parishes of Orynyn, Suprunkovtsy, Zinkiv and others. In 1923 he was arrested along with Frs. Władisław Dworzecki, Antoni Niedzielski and Wacław Szymański in a case against Catholic clergy and laity. Charged with “opposing the seizure of church valuables” and was sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted to two years in prison. He was later released early. In August 1923 he was again arrested on charges of “teaching catechism to children,” but released from prison six weeks later when his parishioners paid 500 rubles bail. He continued clandestinely teaching children religion. From 1923 he was pastor of St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Kamianets-Podilskyi. April 12, 1927 – arrested on charges that he had, “from 1922 to 1927 systematically, in the presence of numerous faithful, preached anti-Soviet and counter-revolutionary sermons, speaking out as an accomplice of the Polish bourgeoisie”; also charged with “agitation and propaganda for the overthrow of Soviet power, playing on the religious and national prejudices of the popular masses.” Transported to Moscow for further interrogation and held in Butyrka Prison where he was subjected to very harsh interrogations that led to a nervous breakdown. In protest, he declared a hunger strike on April 11, 1928, demanding a personal conversation with the prosecutor; he ended the strike April 18 when his conditions were met. August 21, 1928 – sentenced under Articles 58-4, -7, -10 and 59-7 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR to ten years in corrective labor camps [OGPU Collegium]. Sent to Solovetsky Special Purpose Camp, where he arrived September 30. Worked in the camp as a guard. At the beginning of 1930 he was transferred to Anzer Island with a group of priests. November 18, 1930 – camp sector boss noted the following about Father Felix’s character: “He is an ideologically steadfast and stubborn enemy of everything Soviet; he warrants strict isolation.” In August 1931 he fell seriously ill; in October he was transported to the infirmary on the central island where the doctors diagnosed “inflammation of the brain.” During his illness. Father Potapy Emelianov tended him with the greatest self-sacrificing care and heard his confession before he died. November 17, 1931 – died in the camp infirmary, where Father Potapy “prayed the funeral rite over him, which he knew well by heart,” and the body was then placed in a coffin and buried in a separate grave. Those who knew him well in the camp spoke of him with praise and affection. His dossier has a description of him provided by his parishioners that speaks of him as a “bold and resolute person who hated the Soviet regime and feared nothing.” There are many denunciations in the materials of the investigatory file that bear evidence of this. For example, February 5, 1923, it was noted that Father Felix stated from the pulpit during his sermon, “I will not serve two gods – God and the Soviet regime!” October 5, 1924, Father Felix said to his parishioners “Bolsheviks have killed faith in people. Before we had these thieves, Poles lived and prayed peacefully, fearing no one, while today they must do so cautiously.” October 10, 1924, he finished his sermon with the words “Faith and God were, they are, and they always will be!” During his interrogation Father Felix stated that during the Civil War he had graphically and through his own life become convinced that a person deprived of faith is simultaneously deprived of morality and turns into a wild beast. All oppressors, without exception, no matter what they call themselves, had one philosophy: “There is no God and consequently anything can be done, everything is permitted.” Sources : GARF, f. 8406, op. 2, d. 2990; GARF, f. 8409, op. 1, d. 220, l. 334-337; d. 246, l. 285-299, 301; d. 327, l. 239; Personal dossier F. N. Liubchinskii, Archive of Information Center, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Karelia; Osipova (1996), pp. 63-64, 182; Investigatory Matter 53905, Archive TsGAOO (Ukraine); Investigatory Matter 590614, Central Archive, FSB, Russian Federation; Dzwonkowski (1998), pp. 326-328; Madała, 7p. 9
Variant Names:
Liubchinskii, Feliks Nikolaevich; Lubczyński, Felix
Starokosti︠a︡ntyniv (Ukraine); Kiev (Ukraine); Kushelevka (Tulʹchyn, Ukraine); Kam'i︠a︡net︠s︡ʹ-Podilʹsʹkyĭ raĭon (Ukraine)
male; clergy and religious; died in prison