Biography of Father Leonid Jurkiewicz

Born into a family of an Orthodox priest in Strizhevka, Vinnytsia province, in 1879. In 1898 he enrolled in Kamianets Podilskyi [Orthodox] Seminary, from which he was expelled a year later on account of his “[political] unreliability, which was manifested in his irregular attendance at church and reading of socialist and Ukrainian literature.” From 1899 he lived with his father in Strizhevka and was engaged in disseminating Populist ideas; from 1900 he worked at the “Charitable Society for the Publication of Socially Useful Books for the Ukrainian People.” From 1903 he worked in city management in Odessa; in 1905, fearing arrest, he went to Okno, where he engaged in agitation work among the peasantry. In the summer of 1906 he again went to Strizhevka, where he was arrested by the police for “distribution of proclamations against the dispersal of the First State Duma,” but he was soon released. From 1908 he worked as a teacher of Russian language and history at a school in Berezovetskoye; from 1915 he was a bureaucrat in the Kherson Provincial Government; he also contributed to newspapers published in Moscow, Kiev, Yekaterinoslav, Lviv and Poltava. In 1917, during a meeting with Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky in Lviv, he was ordained a deacon of the Eastern Rite, but he did not take up that ministry. From 1917 he lived in Ternopil, then later moved to Kiev, where he became acquainted with Frs. Nikolay Shchepaniuk, Michaƚ Cegelski and Ksaweri Bon and began to assist them at Masses in Sacred Heart Church. From November 1917 he worked as a teacher at a school in Boryspil; then later in Strizhevka; he actively helped parishioners of an Eastern Rite Catholic community in Odessa. In 1922 the Orthodox Bishop Aleksei ordained him a priest “for the Ukrainian Church.” In May 1923 he was received into the bosom of the Catholic Church and began to serve at Holy Trinity Church in Brailov, Kamianets Diocese. When he came to Kiev he would meet with Fr. Nikolay Shchepaniuk. He wrote a novel, the main hero of which was a priest who served in Ukraine from 1914 through 1920. May 26, 1929 – arrested and sent to Kiev Prison for further investigation, even though he was an invalid and also suffered serious ailments. November 23, 1929 – sentenced under Article 54-4 of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian SSR to ten years in corrective labor camp [OGPU Collegium]. In December 1929 he was sent to the Kotlas section of Temnikov camp; released November 22, 1933, on account of his illness. Fate thereafter unknown. Sources: Archive of the Directorate, Ministry of the Interior, Komi Republic; GARF, f. 8049, op. 1, d. 394, l. 363-368; d. 809, l. 246-254; Dzwonkowski, pp. 275-276; Osipova (1996), p. 216; Sokolovskyi, pp. 241-242; Parafiial'na gazeta, 1995, no. 31, p. 8
Variant Names:
Jurkiewicz, Leonid; I︠U︡rkevich, Leonid Nikolaevich
Kam'i︠a︡net︠s︡ʹ-Podilʹsʹkyĭ (Ukraine); Odesa (Ukraine); L'viv (Ukraine); Moscow (Russia); Ternopilʹ (Ukraine); Kiev (Ukraine)
male; clergy and religious; fate unknown