Biography of Anna Serebryannikova (Sister Imelda, OP)

Born into a peasant family in Saratov in 1890. Did not complete high school; worked as a village school teacher. Converted to Catholicism and joined the Abrikosova community of Dominican Sisters under the name Sr. Imelda; she was the sisters’ choir director. November 26, 1923 – arrested in Moscow in a case against Russian Catholics. May 19, 1924 – sentenced under Article 61 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR to eight years in prison [OGPU Collegium]. Sent to Solovetsky Special Purpose Camp. She was on Kond Island until 1925; in the summer she was transferred to Central Island and worked there as a nurse in the camp hospital. In 1931 she was released from the camp, restricted from living in the six largest cities and the borderland regions [OGPU Collegium]. Fate thereafter unknown. We present excerpts from the memoirs of Fr. Dmitry Kuzmin-Karavayev: “She had a purely Russian face with strikingly fine features. She was the director of the sisters’ choir, and when she intoned the Troparion with her resonant voice (you have to remember that in our parish the singing was in unison), you could not but think she was an Old Believer prioress [golovshchitsa]. Continuing with this terminology, Anna Spiridonovna was not only its prioress, but its director [ustavshchitsa] as well. Every evening she came to Fr. Vladimir in order to prepare the service for the following day. We have to admit that she knew the Tipikon and the liturgical books better than our honorable pastor, and more than once I watched with pleasure when I would be visiting Fr. Vladimir, how, with respectful persistence, she brought him around to what she had already decided.” Sources: Assumptionist Archives, Rome, 2ER.66, p. 1; von Burman, p. 540; GARF, f. 8409, op. 1, d. 37, l. 420-421; Osipova (1996), p. 198; Osipova (1999), pp. 338-339; Abrikosova et al. (1924); Sokolovskyi, p. 188
Variant Names:
Serebryannikova, Anna; Sister Imelda; Serebri︠a︡nnikova, Anna Spiridonovna (Imel'da)
Saratov (Russia); Moscow (Russia); Solovetski Islands (Russia)
female; clergy and religious; fate unknown