The Sacrament of Confirmation was being administered here on July 22-23, I972- The previous evening, officials of Kapsukas Rayon ordered the pastor of the parish in Kalvarija to take down the loudspeakers that were set up outside. On July 22 no sermons were even delivered so as not to "anger the authorities." About 4,000 children were confirmed.

On September 24,1972, the 150th jubilee of the church in Meteliai was celebrated. Rugienis permitted the bishop to come, but he did not allow him to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation.

* * *

The Catholics in Lithuania are becoming increasingly aware of their duty to pray for their homeland. The following proclamation has been passing from hand to hand among the believers:


During the postwar years the material wounds of our country have healed over, but even more grievous ones have been opened: the persecution of believers, godlessness, cursing, drunkenness, dissoluteness, murder of the unborn, mockery of the most sacred national and religious traditions. In their concern over their own fate, many of our compatriots are forgetting the fate of our native land. That is why it is necessary to pray for our homeland every day. Let us urge those dear to us to pray also. For this intention let us often dedicate our rosaries, our masses, our Communions, and our other religious acts. For the sins of our compatriots let us offer to God all our deeds and hardships and all that we have to suffer.

The homeland is as dear to every human being as is his mother, as is his birthplace. Only a degenerate cannot love his homeland. Therefore let us come to the aid of our native land through sacrifice and prayer.