Biography of Monsignor Josyf Svidnitskyi

Born in Ukraine in 1936. He found himself a job in Riga in order to become a priest. However he was unable to enroll officially in Riga Diocesan Seminary, and so he decided to study and take each examination separately. After lengthy trials, he was finally able to be ordained in the underground church. He was ordained in Lithuania in 1972 by Bishop Vincentas Sladkevichius. He served in the underground church and in his free time he clandestinely traveled to Ukraine to help the local priests. In 1973 he moved to Zhytomyr, and his diligent activity was a cause of great concern to the KGB. He managed to make his way to Central Asia, where he served in Dushanbe, and then in 1982 he moved to Novosibirsk, but even there the “guardians” from the Council on Religious Affairs would not leave him alone. At this time he also tried to travel about through various cities of Siberia, Kazakhstan, and the Caucasus, and he founded small communities and established legal or illegal chapels. In 1985 he was arrested for his missionary activity and spent 285 days in prison; released March 24, 1987. Returned to Novosibirsk, where Fergana became the main center of his ministry. He continued this work even after the creation of the Apostolic Administration for Catholics of the Asian part of Russia. In 1998 he decided to leave for his native Ukraine, where he continues to serve in the village of Murafa. As of 2008 he was an emeritus monsignor [prelat]. Source: Svidnitski, “Vospominaniia uznika,” Svet Evangeliia,1998, no. 35; 1999, no. 5
Variant Names:
Svidnitskyi, Josyf; Svidnit︠s︡kiĭ, Iosif
Ukraine; Rīga (Latvia); Lithuania; Z︠H︡ytomyr (Ukraine); Asia, Central; Dushanbe (Tajikistan); Novosibirsk (Russia); Siberia (Russia); Kazakhstan; Caucasus; Novosibirsk (Russia); Farghona (Uzbekistan); Murafa (Vinnyt︠s︡ʹka oblastʹ, Ukraine)
male; clergy and religious; survived