Biography of Bishop Karol Śliwowski

Born June 29, 1855, outside Warwaw. Studied in Warsaw, France and Germany, then enrolled in the Engineering Institute in St. Petersburg. After receiving his diploma, he enrolled in the Theological Seminary in Seiny and graduated from St. Petersburg Theological Academy with a master’s degree in theology. Ordained in 1883; from 1883 he served as vicar of the parish in Senno [Belarus]; from 1890, as administrator and dean in Lepel [Belarus], where he built a church. On account of a conflict with priests who were supported by the authorities, he was removed from the parish and transferred to Kazan, where he served as pastor, religion teacher and military chaplain, and where he later built a church. From 1912 he served at the parish in Vladivostok, devoting great attention to the aid of those in need. Thanks to the support of the Apostolic Visitator for Siberia, he built a neo-Gothic church and converted the existing church into a minor seminary. February 2, 1923 – appointed bishop of the newly erected Diocese of Vladivostok; November 28, 1923 – consecrated bishop at liturgy in Harbin. It was only by chance that he was able to return to Vladivostok – the border guard turned out to be someone whom Fr. Karol had materially assisted. The parish residence and the seminary building were seized by the authorities; Bishop Sliwowski himself was expelled from Vladivostok and forced to live in Sedanka under constant surveillance of the GPU and thus unable to fulfill his pastoral duties. January 20, 1927, and January 31, 1928, he responded to Christmas greetings from the Primate of Poland, Cardinal August Hlond, but he gave no information about himself. When anyone from abroad attempted to make contact with him in order to organize some form of material assistance, Fr. Karol insisted that they not do so as this could then become a cause for persecution. He was visited only by Fr. Jerzy Jurkiewicz, who heard his confession right up until his own arrest in 1930. Bishop Karol Śliwowski died January 5, 1933, in Sedanka. His funeral occurred without a priest, and his grave was later robbed. Present-day parishioners of the revived parish are trying to find his grave and preserve his memory. Sources: Efimova; see also Dzwonkowski (1998), pp. 473-475; Efimova, "Pamiati Episkopa Vladivostokogo," Zaria Vladivostoka, 1998, no. 1, pp. 1-5
Variant Names:
Śliwowski, Karol; Slivovskiĭ, Karl; Slivovskiĭ, Karol'
Warsaw (Poland); France; Germany; Saint Petersburg (Russia); Si︠a︡nno (Vitsebskai︠a︡ voblastsʹ, Belarus); Lepelʹ (Belarus); Kazanʹ (Russia); Vladivostok (Russia); Sedanka (Russia)
male; clergy and religious; survived