Biography of Father Józef Kowalski

Born into a peasant family in 1898 in Jelenin, Volyn province. Graduated from the city school in Poƚonne, a business school, and enrolled in a business institute in Slavuty, which he completed in Priluki, where the institute was evacuated during the war. From 1918 he was a student in the electro-technical department of Kiev Polytechnical Institute. Prior to 1921, during the Civil War, he worked as a teacher in a village school in Poƚonne; in 1925 he graduated from the Mathematics and Physics Department of Kiev Institute of People’s Education and became an instructor at the Meliorativny Technical Institute in Kiev. He was one of five alumni of an underground seminary organized in the quarters of Fr. Teofil Skalski [see also Stanisƚaw Grzegorzewski, Andrzej Rybaƚtowski]. December 4, 1928 – clandestinely ordained by Bishop Antoni Malecki in St. Catherine Church in Leningrad. From January 1929 he served in Fastiv, Bila Tserkva region. May 29, 1929 – arrested in Fastiv in a case against Catholics (Gzegorzewski et al.) Sent to Bila Tserkva Prison, then transferred to Kiev Prison. June 17, 1929 – during the investigation he stated under interrogation: “As a believer, I was dissatisfied with the policy of anti-religious propaganda of the Soviet regime, which forbade the opening of theological seminaries.” June 12, 1930 – sentenced under Articles 54-4 and 54-10 of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian SSR to ten years in corrective labor camp [Special Troika, GPU Collegium, UkrSSR]. May 26, 1930 – transferred from Kiev Prison to the Yaroslavl Political Isolator. September 27, 1933 – sent to Solovetsky Special Purpose Camp; as of 1935 he was in the Savvatiev special isolator. In September 1937 he was transferred to the prison block. October 9, 1937 – sentenced to death [Special Troika, Directorate, NKVD, Leningrad oblast]. November 3, 1937 – shot, in Sandormokh, outside Medvezhegorsk. Sources: GARF, f. 8406, op. 2, d. 2343 and 5647, l. 1, 5, 8, 9, 35, 39, 47, 52; Sandormokh Memorial Cemetery, p. 101; Osipova (1996), p. 175; Protocols of Sessions of Special Troika, Directorate of NKVD for Leningrad oblast; Reznikova, p. 23; Sokolovskyi, p. 96; Shkarovskii, p. 227; Dzwonkowski, pp. 298-299; Investigatory Matter 1733 fp, Archive TsGAOO (Ukraine); Schnurr, p. 227
Variant Names:
Kowalski, Józef; Koval'skiĭ, Iosif Antonovich
Volynsʹka oblastʹ (Ukraine); Polonne (Ukraine); Pryluky (Ukraine); Kiev (Ukraine); Saint Petersburg (Russia); Fastiv (Ukraine); Bila T︠S︡erkva (Ukraine); Kiev (Ukraine); I︠A︡roslavlʹ (I︠A︡roslavskai︠a︡ oblastʹ, Russia); Solovetski Island (Russia); Medvezhyegorsk (Russia)
male; clergy and religious; executed