Abrantovič Fabijan, Rt. Rev. (other spellings: Abrantovich, Abrantowicz; Абрантовіч Фабіян), religious and civic leader. Father (Archimandryt) Abrantovič was born into a poor urban family in the ancient Belarusian town of Navahradak, on September 14, 1884. He studied in Navahradak and then in St. Petersburg at (he Roman Catholic Seminary and the Theological Academy. Graduated with the degree of Master of Theology and was ordained to the priesthood on November 9, 1908. As one of the best students at the St. Petersburg Academy, Fr. Abrantovič received a scholarship for study at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, which awarded him a Ph.D. in 1912. Prior to World War I he was a faculty member at the Catholic Seminary at St. Petersburg. There, he became very active in the Belarusian movement. He organized several groups of students and initiated numerous Belarusian publications. Fr. Abrantovič was the founder of the Belarusian Christian Movement and was the head of the first Belarusian Christian Union (Chryścijanskaja Demakratyčnaja Złučnaść) which was established in St. Petersburg in May of 1917. Father Abrantovič was one of the Belarusian Roman Catholic priests who initiated the organization of the Belarusian political conference in Miensk in March of 1917 and the conference of the Belarusian Roman Catholic Clergy, May 24-25, 1917 in the same city. When the Roman Catholic Seminary opened in Miensk during the fall of 1918, Rev. Abrantovič was appointed rector of this institution. His time was divided between his pastoral obligations, his teaching positions, and Belarusian activities in Miensk. Father Abrantovič was among those clerics who were convinced that Roman Catholicism in Belarus should have its own Belarusian character rather than serve as a cultural tool of the Poles. Fr. Abrantovič's role was enormous in the struggle for the recognition of the Belarusian language in the Roman Catholic Church and the indoctrination of Belarusians of the Roman Catholic faith in their Belarusianness, and his contribution to the revival of Belarusian statehood. After the partition of Belarus (1921), he moved first to the city of Pinsk and then to the town of Druja (1926) where the majority of Belarusian Roman Catholic priests settled following the war.

However, his political activities did not stop there: he vigorously protested the Concordat between the Holy See and the Polish Government and supported numerous Belarusian political programs. At the request of the Polish church authorities, Fr. Abrantovič was removed from Druja and sent to the city of Harbin in the Far East. In 1939, while visiting Belarus, he was captured by the Soviet Army, imprisoned, and tortured in the prison of the city of L'viv. Later on he was exiled to Russia. The place and the date of his death are unknown, although it is thought that he died in a Soviet prison in the early 1940s.

References: Božym Šlacham, Paris, December 1957, pp. 9-20; New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, 1967, pp. 36-37; Encyklopedia Katolicka, Lublin, vol. 1, 1973, p. 29.

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