Biography of Maria Sokolowska (Sister Catherine, OP)

Born in 1902 in Bolshiye Nemeritsy, Proskurov district, Podolsk province. She completed the four-year village school. In 1920 she was living in Petrograd; then she moved to Moscow where she worked as a servant for various families. From her youngest years she had a vocation to religious life but because of complicated life circumstances she was not able to actualize this vocation for many years. In 1946 she arrived in Maloyaroslavets where she joined the Abrikosova community of Dominican Sisters and received the name Sr. Catherine da Ricci. In the autumn of 1948 she moved to Kaluga where, on April 3, 1949, she was arrested and charged with “espionage activity on behalf of the Vatican.” October 10, 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, USSR Ministry of State Security]. Sent to Vorkutlag (Abez settlement); 1954 – transferred to the home for disabled convicts in Ukhta, whence she was released in July 1956. At the end of August she arrived in Vilnius. Until 1974 she lived in a small room with a blind woman; then she moved in with the Dominican Sisters of the Abrikosova community. She died in Vilnius March 28, 1985. Sources: Ott; Osipova (1999), p. 339; Shkarovskii, p. 283
Variant Names:
Sokolowska, Maria; Sister Catherine; Sister Catherine da Ricci; Sokolovskai︠a︡, Marii︠a︡ Filippovna (Ekaterina)
Proskuriv (Ukraine); Saint Petersburg (Russia); Moscow (Russia); Maloi︠a︡roslavet︠s︡ (Russia); Kaluga (Kaluzhskai︠a︡ oblastʹ, Russia); Komi (Russia); Vilnius (Lithuania)
female; clergy and religious; survived