Biography of Father Andrzej Rybaƚtowski

Born into the family of a carpenter in Klopatry, Velsk district, Grodno province, on November 21, 1875. Completed the four-year pro-gymnasium. In 1897 he entered the Order of St. Francis. Before being called up for service in the army, he worked with his father; from 1897 he served in the Tsar’s Army as a senior guard of the Moscow Quartermaster’s Depot. He also completed accounting courses in night school and took the exams for pharmacy apprenticeship. In 1906 he was demobilized and from 1907 he worked as a pharmacy apprentice at Promar in Moscow. In 1908 or 1909 he moved to Kiev, where he worked in a pharmacy and prepared to take extern exams for pharmacist. In the spring of 1914 he passed the exams at the medical department of Kiev Imperial University of St. Prince Vladimir, and on June 2 received his pharmacist diploma. July 18, 1914, in connection with the beginning of the war, he was mobilized into the army as a pharmacist; worked in the Kiev District Military Medical Bureau and was later sent to active service on the Northwest Front. Awarded the Order of St. Stanislaus, Third Degree. From October 1915 he worked at the Kiev Military Medical Bureau and here was awarded the Order of St. Anne, Third Degree. In May 1917 he became head of the Field Veterinarian Pharmacy on the Romanian Front; in June 1918 he became Senior Pharmacist of the Kiev Military Medical Pharmacy Store; he was later in Novorossiisk as a lieutenant with the Volunteer Army. In his words, “I continued to serve in the medical bureau even after the October Revolution, under all regimes that occupied the cities of Odessa and Kiev, where I was at that time. Thus I served under the Germans, the Petlurians, the Denikins and the Red Army.” In 1923 he was demobilized from the Red Army. He settled in Kiev where he went six months unemployed before he began to work as a pharmacist in one of the pharmacies in June 1924. As a deeply believing person, he attended Mass at St. Aleksander Church and dreamed of becoming a priest. In the autumn of 1924 he told Frs. Teofil Skalski and Kazimierz Naskręcki of his wish, and under their guidance he studied at an underground seminary in Fr. Teofil’s apartment. December 4, 1928 – he was clandestinely ordained by Bishop Antoni Malecki in Leningrad and on January 19, 1929, he celebrated his first Divine Liturgy at St. Aleksander Church in Kiev. He settled in Pohrebyshche, Berdychiv region, where he was pastor of a parish. May 25, 1929 – arrested in a case against Catholics (Grzegorzewski et al.). Sent to Kiev Prison for further investigation. Charged with “counter-revolutionary activity.” February 26, 1930 – sentenced under Articles 54-4 and 54-10 of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian SSR to three years in corrective labor camp [Special Board, OGPU Collegium, UkrSSR]. In 1932 he was released from the camp; returned to Ukraine where he served in the parish in Makhnivka, Vinnytsia oblast. August 22, 1935 – arrested as a “participant in the POV, a counter-revolutionary Polish-nationalistic organization.” December 31, 1935 – sentenced under Articles 54-4 and 54-11 to six years in corrective labor camp with loss of rights for three years and confiscation of property [Special Collegium, Vinnytsia Dist. Ct.]. January 31, 1936 – on appeal, the sentence remained without change on the grounds that he had “taken an active part in the activity of a Polish-nationalistic organization in Ukraine” [Supreme Ct., UkrSSR]. Sent to Belbaltlag where he died in 1937 at sixty-two years of age (exact date of death unknown). Source: Osipova (1996), p. 196; Investigatory Matter 1733 fp, Archive TsGAOO (Ukraine); Sokolovskyi, pp. 168-170; Shkarovskii, p. 237; Dzwonkowski, p. 420; Madała, p. 135
Variant Names:
Rybaƚtowski, Andrzej; Rybaltovskiĭ, Andreĭ Frant︠s︡evich
Velʹsk (Russia); Moscow (Russia); Kiev (Ukraine)
male; clergy and religious; died in prison