[Miss] Aldona Matusevičiūtė was a teacher at Vilnius Nursery-Kindergarten No. 81. On September 27, 1973, she was charged before the Vilnius Department of Education with being a nun, and forced to sign a statement that she was "voluntarily" resigning her position. On October 13, Matusevičiūtė was dismissed from her position.
Toward the end of May, 1973, Stankaitis, an instructor of atheism at the State Pedagogical Institute of Vilnius, stated while delivering a lecture to fourth-year students of preschool education and psychology in the evening session: "Kindergarten teachers who overhear a child mentioning God must consult with his parents. If this fails to produce the desired results, it is permissible to contact the parents' places of employment and to take action through their labor unions and Party organizations."
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On February 18, 1974, the Supreme Court in Vilnius began to hear the case of V. Povilonis, A. Sakalauskas, S. Žukauskas, Rudaitis, and Mackevičius. All five were arrested in March, 1973, and charged with anti-Soviet activities. The trial is expected to last about two weeks. Further information will be presented in issue no. 10 of the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania.
THE ARCHDIOCESE OF KAUNAS
Having learned that one of his employees, Monika Gavėnaitė, was a nun, the director of the Šviesa Publishing House declared, "It's best to have nothing to do with sanctimonious grannies," and ordered her to sign a statement that she was leaving her position "voluntarily." On February n, Gavėnaitė was discharged. The firing of M. Gavėnaitė was undoubtedly sanctioned by the security organs. (See the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, no. 8).
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On January 7, 1974, while [Miss] Valerija Grincevičiūtė, a resident of Kaunas, was at work, a security official went through her books, notebooks, and photographs. The only other person present in the room at the time was an underage boy.
On December 18, 1973, S. Kulevičius was sent to Juozas Šileikis, of Šiauliai, for the purpose of convincing him to renounce his faith, if only for appearance' sake. Šileikis replied that he would never be a hypocrite.
In early December, 1973, the homeroom teacher of class 11B at Šiauliai Secondary School No. 5 demanded that students who were not members of the Young Communist League were to bring notes of explanation from their parents. J. Šileikis wrote the following: "My daughter, Virginija Šileikytė, is a believer, and since she does not want to be a hypocrite, she will not join the Young Communist League."
On December 26, 1973, Šileikis was again summoned to a parents' meeting. Once again the conduct of Leonas Šileikis was being deliberated upon. He had been accused of distributing anti-Soviet leaflets in Šiauliai (See Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, no. 8). [Mrs.] Kaunienė, a teacher, reproached Juozas Šileikis for speaking "a lot of nonsense" at previous meetings. The homeroom teacher complained to the parents that there still were many believers among the students. Subseqently, the homeroom teacher spoke about the offense of seventh-class student [Miss] Nijolė Martinaitytė. Nijolė had beaten up an innocent girl and had stabbed her several times with a knife. The homeroom teacher spoke very briefly about this misdeed, mostly how to help Nijolė avoid punishment. The girl herself stated that she wanted to go to prison, where she could really learn how to fight!
On the evening of December 26 Juozas Šileikis was visited by Kaunienė, Attorney [Mrs.] Petrauskienė, and Judge [Mrs.] Norvilienė, the purpose of whose visit was an attempt at re-educating the family.
"When did you last attend Church?" they asked Leonas. "Do you read the Gospels?"
"I was in Church on Sunday. That was where I last heard the Gospel."
"Have you read the books written by Ragauskas?" [An ex-priest and atheistic propagandist—tr.]
Juozas Šileikis explained that his children read both religious and atheistic books and can distinguish what is the truth by themselves. For this reason, the atheists are unable to uproot their faith.
"Why do you believe in God so blindly?" they asked their host.
"Actually it is the atheists who are blind in their non-belief. Many of them have never read a catechism, yet they insist that there is no God."
"Why do you oppose the line taken by the Party and refuse to allow your children to join the Young Communist League?"
"I don't see the necessary good examples. Gather all the hooligans in the school, enroll them into the Young Communist League, and re-educate them into being decent people; then I will be able to entrust you with the training of my children."
"How come you have such strong convictions?" the educators asked Šileikis.
"Because of my religion. Secondly, Lithuania has been crisscrossed by many invaders, and if Lithuanians would have been influenced as easily as down blown by the wind, it is doubtful whether nowadays any of them would even know how to speak Lithuanian. Consequently, let us hold fast to the heritage of our forefathers."