Biography of Father Adam Puczkar-Chmielewski

Born in 1891 in Ivyanets, Minsk province. Studied at the Archdiocesan Catholic Seminary in St. Petersburg from 1911 to 1916; during his studies he became involved in the Belorussian nationalist movement. Ordained in 1916 for the Archdiocese of Mogiliev. From 1916 he was vicar of [Immaculate Conception] parish in Bobruisk and other parishes; he was later the vicar in the parish in Irkutsk. In 1920, during the Polish-Soviet War, he was arrested as a hostage and taken by convoy to Poland, but in Minsk he was taken from the train and released. From 1920 he was pastor of Sts. Simon and Helena parish in Minsk. In 1926, at a conference of Catholic priests of the Minsk province, he proposed the creation of a Catholic diocese headed by a Belorussian bishop, subject directly to the Vatican, and not to the Polish hierarchy. From 1929 he served in Dzerzhinsk [Dzyarzhynsk], and he also tended parishes in Zaslavl and Volchkevich; from 1930 he was pastor of the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish in Minsk and also tended another eighteen parishes that had been left without priests. July 26, 1933 – arrested in Minsk – Fr. Adam believed the cause of his arrest were sermons in which he had called for gathering money for those starving in Ukraine. He was tortured during the investigation. February 22, 1934 – sentenced under Articles 64, 66 and 68 of the Criminal Code of the Belorussian SSR to ten years in corrective labor camp [OGPU Collegium]. April 1, 1934 – sent to Dmitlag (Dmitrov, Moscow oblast). July 27, 1934 – sent to Kem, and in September he was transported to Solovetsky Special Purpose Camp. December 1, 1936 – sent his last letter to the Polish Red Cross with a request for help. 1938 – arrested in the camp and sentenced to death. September 1, 1938 – shot. Source: Archive of the Directorate, FSB, Arkhangelsk oblast; GARF, f. 8406, op. 2, d. 4033; Osipova (1996), pp. 192-193; Dzwonkowski, pp. 401-402; Madała, p. 33
Variant Names:
Puczkar-Chmielewski, Adam; Puchkar-Khmi︠e︡levskīĭ, Adam I︠A︡novich; Khmi︠e︡levskīĭ, Adam I︠A︡novich
Ivi︠a︡nets (Belarus); Saint Petersburg (Russia); Mahili︠o︡ŭ (Belarus); Irkutsk (Russia); Minsk (Belarus); Dzi︠a︡rzhynsk (Belarus); Dmitrov (Moscow, Russia); Kemʹ (Russia)
male; clergy and religious; executed