Biography of Father Andrzej Fedukowicz

Description:
Born in 1875. Graduated from seminary and was ordained in 1902 for the Diocese of Lutsk-Zhytomyr. He celebrated his first Mass on March 9, 1903, at St. Catherine Church in St. Petersburg. From 1904 he was a religion teacher in the boys and girls gymnasiums in Zhytomyr, where the young people dearly loved him; from 1915 he was chancellor of the Diocesan Curia, cathedral pastor and vice dean. From 1920 he led the education system in the Diocese of Zhytomyr: he promoted the creation of Polish schools and educational institutions and was also actively involved in social work. During the Civil War he defended Jews from pogroms, hiding them in his own quarters. It was suggested that he leave for Poland before the arrival of the Bolsheviks, but he refused and remained with his parishioners. In 1923 he was arrested but soon released. Bishop Ignacy Dub-Dubowski, having left for Poland, appointed him vicar general for the territory of Volhynia and on 15 October 1924 sent Fr. Andrzej a letter in which he summoned him to Poland for treatment [letter seized by GPU, never delivered to addressee]. Arrested again in 1924 and transported to Kharkiv Prison for further investigation. In Kharkiv Prison he was forced, under torture, to "admit" to espionage and to sign an open letter to the Pope, asserting that "the Catholic Church is not persecuted in the USSR; priests are arrested for their political and espionage activity on behalf of Poland." On November 16, 1924, the letter was published in the Soviet press. [The letter also contained a request that the Pope exert his influence on the Polish government, which was purportedly giving priests the task of espionage - this would be useful for the Church's affairs in the USSR.] He was released from prison in a state of serious nervous breakdown. On March 4, 1925, after confession to Fr. Stanisław Jachniewicz, he committed suicide - he doused himself with kerosene and immolated himself. To parishioners trying to save him, he cried out, "I have sinned against humanity." The laity never condemned him for his suicide - on the contrary, they considered him a hero. Source: Dzwonkowski, p. 227; Madała, pp. 53-54; Osipova (1996), p. 206
Variant Names:
Fedukovich, Andrei Andreevich; Fedukowicz, Andrzej
Dates:
1875-1925
Locations:
Lut︠s︡ʹk (Ukraine); Z︠H︡ytomyr (Ukraine)
Subjects:
male; clergy and religious; survived