"From: The pastor of the Pagramantis parish

"A Supplementary Report

"It is with deep regret I inform you that during the night of July 8-9, 1981, unknown intruders broke into the Pagramantis church. They first attempted to enter through the side door of the church. The door was scratched around the lock. When this failed, a window of the addition to the church was removed, entry was gained, the lock was broken, and the bolt pushed back. They got into the church. They tried to break into the sacristy, for the locks were tampered with and an ax or other metal instrument was used to batter the hanging padlock, but they were unable to break in.

"The wooden throne at the main altar was knocked over, cut with a saw, and smashed with a crowbar. The metal tabernacle containing the ciborium with the Blessed Sacrament was ripped out. The tabernacle, the ciborium, and the Blessed Sacrament were carried out. The doors were left unlocked.

"About fifteen electric lamps were damaged near the altar. Wires were cut, flowers were knocked over, a hand from an angel's statue was broken off. The lock of the tabernacle on the altar of the Holy Cross was ripped out and thrown on the altar. Two donation boxes were smashed and some 12 rubles were taken from them.

"I informed the Tauragė Police Department of this offense at 8 a.m. on July 9, 1981. The officials came at 9 a.m. and inspected the church. They found four fingerprints on the glass of the removed window and fingerprints on two crosses.

"Material losses amounted to about 1,400 rubles, but the spiritual loss is inestimable.

"Solemn services of atonment will be held on August 15 at 5 p.m.

Pagramantis, July 19, 1981 
(signed) Rev. Prančiskus Ružė 
Pastor of the Pagramantis Parish"

Atonement Services in Pagramantis

Evildoers broke into the Pagramantis church during the night of July 9,1981, and desecrated the Blessed Sacrament. Unable to open the tabernacle, they ripped it out and stole it. After some time the people found the desecrated and broken tabernacle at the edge of a pasture. The Blessed Sacrament was no longer in it.

On August 15, 1981, crowds of people came to Pagramantis for the atonement services.

An altar was erected on the steps by the main church doors. On the right side of the altar was a sorrowful sight: the desecrated and broken tabernacle. The services began at 5 p.m. Young people approached from the main church gate on their knees, carrying flowers to the desecrated tabernacle.

A mass was concelebrated by Fathers Jonas Gedvila, Jonas Kauneckas, Alfonsas Svarinskas, Vacys Vėlavičius, Adolfas Pudžemis, Vytautas Skiparis, Valentinas Šikšnys, Vytautas Kadys, Stanislovas Racevičius, and Prančiskus Ružė.

During their sermons, Fathers Svarinskas and Kauneckas invited all to meditate and return to "that which for ages has been most dear to the Lithuanians." A procession around the church followed the mass. About one thousand persons received Holy Communion.

Father Gedvila briefly addressed the faithful, thanking them for attending in such numbers. There were some two thousand persons in church that day, including many young people. The homilist stressed the extreme graveness of the sin committed during the night of July 9, punishable by excommunication specially reserved for the Holy Father. (Canon Law, canon 2320.)

Finally the procession — young people carrying a cross and flags, priests wearing liturgical vestments, followed by a large crowd of people — turned toward the section of the pasture where the broken tabernacle had been discovered. Father Svarinskas addressed the people, noting that"today Lithuania is travelling the road to Golgotha, which will inevitably be followed by the bright dawn of resurrection." Near a hastily constructed cross of plain rough lumber, the crowd recited the litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and sang "Marija, Marija" (Mary, Mary) and then dispersed with the firm resolve to be good sons and daughters of the Church and of their country.

It was announced that the day of the desecration would be commemorated every year, so that people might on that day better express their love for Christ in the Eucharist and so that the day might recall the sad times when the faithful were being persecuted and the Blessed Sacrament was being desecrated.