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Богдан Сенета (1913 - 2004) - Biography

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«Church – My Bride»

Fr. Bogdan Stephen Seneta was born on 27 June 1913 in the village of Yaksmanychi in the Przemysl district in a family of local parish priest, fr. Bogdan Seneta and Stephania Gaiduckevich. Fr. Bogdan's father died in the First World War (25 February 1915) in the village of Wislock Nyzhny in the Lemko region.

Fr. Bogdan studied in Przemysl male gymnasium. He graduated in 1933. In 1934-1939 he studied theology at the Greek Catholic Seminary in Przemysl. In 1939 he was ordained a priest by the bishop of Przemysl Josaphat Kotsylovsky in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

After the ordination, Fr. Bogdan appointed a chaplain (assistant) in the village of Uykovychi of Radymnyansky deanary near Przemysl. At the end of 1942 he was appointed the local priest in the village of  Putyatychi near Dobryany of Sudovyshnyansky deanary.

Father Bogdan refused to "reconnect" with the Russian Orthodox Church and after the Lviv pseudo council in 1946, although he had no right to serve as a priest, he went on living in Dobryany and worshipped secretly for the believers of the village. The Local Ministry of MIA and the KGB watched fr.Bogdan on, looking for an opportunity to arrest him for "anti-Soviet activity."

On March 12, 1950, fr. Bogdan was arrested and charged with helping the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) soldiers and sent to the special settlements. Although his only "fault" before the Soviets was the refusal to come within the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate.

In 1950-1954 he was exiled to the village of Torba in the Zyryansky region of Tomsk district (Siberia). Then he moved to the collective farm "Chornorechensky" in Khabarovsk to his relatives (a brother-priest, fr. Miroslav and two sisters, Sophia and Mary) who were also imprisoned for "anti-Soviet activity." Father Bohdan worked there as a lumberjack and handyman.

In 1975, fr. Bogdan along with his family returned to Ukraine. First they settled in Dobryany, but later moved to the village of Zymna Voda near the city. Father continued his active pastoral ministry: baptized, confessed and buried the dead. For that he got into the "field of view" of the Soviet special organs again and again.

After going the Greek-Catholic Church out of the undeground conditions, in 1990 Bogdan Seneta received the permission from the Metropolitan Volodymyr Sternyuk to continue his priest ministry in Dobryany. Despite the various obstacles, disagreements among the believers, his age and illness, fr. Bogdan worked hard for the good of the Church and its people. In 1998, he received a papal award "For merits before the Church and the Apostolic See." Fr. Bogdan Seneta died on December 11, 2004. He was buried in the cemetery in the village of Dobryany.


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