Богдан Сенета

* 1913  †︎ 2004

  • «The district militia inspectors and the KGB came. There were Odnolyetko and Yerefeev there. The others were not known. I was always told to come to the executive committee in Gorodok. Somehow I got myself out. And on 12 March (it was after the elections, for it was Sunday) the head of the KGB with the soldiers came. The head was Yerefeyev. Just then I got into his hands. I went to L’viv, because of the bad road, the flood in the fields, I had to return home. When I came, there was already the garrison of soldiers in the house. I was clear that it was a search. They began to search my pockets and said, "Sit down; we've come to arrest you." There was the revision of the books there too. The books were of a religious and national content. Still, there was a photo of all the catechists of the seminary there. Moreover, a trident hung over us. So he wrote down that the books were of the Catholic and national content. Then he said: "We have to arrest you." They also took the Gospel. All the items were sealed there. There were the church things and the felon in the house. He said, "I will lock it up, it mustn’t be open. That is sealed." I was told to serve dinner to them. They ordered to bring a bottle of vodka and so on. The cart came. I accompanied by those soldiers sat in it and we headed for Gorodok.»

  • «We met there. There was the river and snags there. The snags were so big that the barracks were in them. There were birches around and a lot of mosquitoes. First we lay there for a day or two. And on the third day we were called to the so-called square. The chief and the brigadiers came up to us and said, "Here we have brought you and here you have to work. You have to work in the forest." Then he added, "All right. You had two days to relax, and on the third day you will be taken into the forest, where you will work. There you will saw wood, cut twigs and load." It took us over 1 hour to get to that work place. Later I looked – there were saws and axes. They said, "You have saws, you have axes, so do cut." It meant we had to cut trees. At first a stump had to be cleaned at the bottom with an axe and then cut a bit on the opposite side of its falling. There was no electric saw there. They were all handsaws. I was with one professor. He was a professor in the L’viv Philharmonic. I forgot his name. He came both with his wife and his daughter. He was very weak; sick of the lungs (he had only one lung). It was hard to him to work. But we worked, we cut. I remember this: there was a tree rather thick. He had no strength and nor did I. I said to him: "We should pray to St. Joseph. St. Joseph worked as a carpenter. Let him help us." At that moment the brigadier comes up to us and says, "All right. I will give you the extra man. You have to work, to saw. Do it with axe." We did it again and again, and the tree fell down. The brigadier says: "For that you will pay about a ruble and a half."»

  • «Later the district militia inspectors came. There was the tomb of our soldiers, Sich Riflemen there. It was being cleaned without light before the Easter. The tomb was already cleaned and the trident was made with flowers on it. On the next day the district inspector turned up in the village. He came and saw me and asked, "Who has done that?" I answered, “The people. How can I know who it was?” Then I added, "On Saturday that was not there. And now I do not know who it was.” So, they did no harm to me. They took the neighbors, those young guys and girls, for questioning. They bit them there and forced to write who had done that.»

  • «Later I was transferred to the other smaller barrack. There were already our people, even those, who had come from the Black Yar, students: Zheplynskyy, Chuchman. There were students. We lived much better there. Zheplynskyy was a bandura player. We organized the group to learn playing the bandura, the concerts were held. With those concerts they went to the other settlements and villages. Even with those concerts they went to Tomsk. The people rejoiced, "Bravo – they say, that is, - they are well done! Such concerts we have never heard of, never seen." Even the KGB members said, clapping "Oh, you are well done, you have performed well." The guys wore the national costumes – the wide trousers, embroidered shirts, belts. There were girls and guys, they were young. It was called Chapel of Bandurists. I was their chaplain and confessor and parish priest, I did everything. At Christmas we met in one house to Holy Supper. We bought something in the store. And there was some Lithuanian woman, who prepared varenykys, borsch for us. In the store we also bought herrings, canned food, and then we sang carols. It was fun.»

  • «It was from 1946 to 1950. The time was very dangerous. It often happened at night, almost every month some victims had to be there. They were victims and I sheltered them. I sheltered the one called Bogdan Kalinovych. There, in the acts in Gorodok, it was written that I had sheltered Bandera’s adherents. The second thing was that I sheltered a Bandera’s adherent somewhere in the church. I did not. He came to the church himself. Praying in the church, I noticed someone standing beside me. I looked at him and said, "Why have you come to me here?" - "I want to live. Shelter me", he answered. Then I said, "Do you know what it means? You get me and the Church into trouble, the church might be closed. Everything can happen." It was good that I brought him the food when I went to church in the evening. And my mistress was surprised, saying, "What is it that our priest has eaten everything I give. The cutlets and the other foods that I give." Before that, I hadn’t eaten so much. I took a tissue, a piece of paper and wrapped all that. There were potatoes, cabbage, cutlets and I took all this to him in the Gorodok cemetery.»

  • «The beginning of May came, it was early in May. We were reported to be transported to the station of L’viv to Pullman cars. First we shipped all of our products, they were in bags. There was flour, grains and bread crumbs there, all that was permitted. First we loaded all the things. We were put to a Pullman carriage. In this Pullman…, how many families could be there? There could be 10 families in one carriage, another 10 families in the other carriage. There was also a booth there, it was a toilet. Even in that carriage, they transported the people. As the people learned that I am a priest, they told me to serve the public prayer – the public prayer to the Mother of God, to Christ's heart, to the happy journey, to the Lord’s guard. And it was permitted as well. Our journey lasted about a month. Late in May, at the beginning of June, we were brought to Asino. It was where the railroad ended. In Asino there were only barracks.»

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    с. Зимна Вода Львівська обл., 08.04.1993

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    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu A project of the living history “Memory of Fortitude”
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«Church – My Bride»

семінарист.jpg (historic)
Богдан Сенета

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.