Biography of Father Franciszek (Feliksovich) Rutkowski

Born into a lower middle class family in Goniądz, outside Biaƚystok, on March 23, 1883. Studied at Salesian schools in Italy; graduated from the Turin Agricultural Academy. In 1907 he graduated from the Seminary and in 1911, from the Catholic Theological Academy in St. Petersburg with a master’s degree in theology. He later earned a doctorate in theology. Ordained in 1910 for the Archdiocese of Mogiliev. From 1911 he was a religion teacher in a gymnasium and a real school in St. Petersburg and a vicar at St. Stanislaus parish. He later became Archbishop Wincenty Kluczyński’s chaplain. From 1912 he was pastor of St. Nicholas parish in Luga; from 1914 he was vicar of St. Casimir parish in Petrograd. He received the title of canon. From the middle of 1915 he went with Archbishop Kluczyński to Crimea where he took up pastoral work among the Poles, built chapels in Kislovodsk in the Caucasus and in Alupka, Crimea. After the archbishop’s death, he brought his remains back to St. Petersburg and interred them in the burial vault of the church in Vyborg Cemetery. From October 1917 he served in Lesnoye, outside Petrograd; from January 1918 he was vicar of the pro-cathedral in Petrograd; from March 1919 he was pastor of the Church of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary; from January 1922 he also tended parishes in Kolpino, Liuban and Luga while remaining vicar of the pro-cathedral. December 5, 1922 – arrested on charges of “opposition to the closing of a church,” but soon released. March 10, 1923 – arrested in Moscow in a case against Catholic clergy (Archbishop Jan Cieplak et al.). Charged with “participation in a counter-revolutionary organization with the goal of protesting the enactment of the Decree on the separation of the church from the state.” March 21-26, 1923 – at an open trial he was sentenced under Articles 40, 68, 69-1, 119 and 121 of the Criminal Code of the of the RSFSR to three years in prison [Military Tribunal]. He served his term in Sokolnicheskaya Prison. February 1, 1925 – released to Poland as part of a prisoner exchange. From 1926 he was secretary to Cardinal Hlond; in 1929 he became a notarius of the episcopal court in Poznań; from 1932 he was the personal secretary of the Papal nuncio; and from February 1935 he was deputy director of the Secretariat of the Polish Episcopate, and then later became its director. He was the author of several monographs about Archbishop Jan Cieplak and Bishop Antoni Malecki; he also wrote a biography of the martyr Fr. Konstantyn Budkiewicz and a history of the Catholic Theological Academy in St. Petersburg. The manuscripts of these writings were all lost in August 1944 during the Warsaw Uprising. Fr. Franciszek was also killed at that time (exact date of death unknown). Source: Osipova (1996), p. 195; Shkarovskii, p. 236; Dzwonkowski, pp. 417-418; Madała, pp. 134-135
Variant Names:
Rutkowski, Franciszek (Feliksovich); Rutkovskiĭ, Frantishek (Frant︠s︡isk) Feliksovich
Goniądz (Poland); Turin (Italy); Saint Petersburg (Russia); Mahili︠o︡ŭ (Belarus); Alupka (Ukraine); Luga (Leningradskai︠a︡ oblastʹ, Russia); Warsaw (Poland)
male; clergy and religious; executed