In January, 1973, the faithful of the parish in Lankeliškiai addressed the following memorandum to Leonid Brezhnev:

    "We, the believers of the parish in Lankeliškiai, must inform you of a regrettable occurrence. Father Kupstaitis, our former pastor, was transferred to work at the parish in Gižai, and the bishop could not appoint a new pastor for us because there is a shortage of priests in Lithuania. At this time Father J. Zdebskis is available, having returned from a prison labor camp, but the local authorities do not allow him to carry out his priestly duties in our diocese. It seems to us that this is unjust as far as believers are concerned.

    "Therefore, we request that you direct the appropriate agencies that they would do nothing to prevent our bishop from appointing the Rev. J. Zdebskis as pastor of our parish.

January 21, 1973"

    This petition was signed by 149 believers. The address given for a reply was as follows: Vilkaviškis Rayon; Bartininkai Post Office; Moliniškiai Village; Raulinaitis, Juozas, son of Jurgis.

    On February 2, 1973, the Lankeliškiai Parochial Committee asked H.E. Bishop Labukas to appoint a permanent pastor.

    There was no reply from Moscow to the petition from the believers of Lankeliškiai, and the bishop, even had he wanted to, could not have appointed a pastor because there are not enough priests.