Father Sigitas Tamkevičius writes:
Here it is, the second month since I settled into my new surroundings. I'm working in the kitchen, doing uncomplicated work... Divine Providence has made it possible for me to perform a kind of work which teaches me to sympathize with and to appreciate those who, at first sight, seem to be doing quite meaningless work, which in the eyes of God is no less meritorius than the big jobs. I offer everything to the Lord, and I am convinced that my present work is no less useful to the Church and to the faithful than everything which I have done for twenty years. What a comfort to know this! Our Heavenly Father sees everything, and judges everything.
No one interfered with my work, so in my thoughts, I can constantly by with God and in Him, with those who were so near and dear to my heart when I was free. When you are with God, please remember me, too, so that I might know how to make everything always meaningful, and offer it to God, that in my present life there might not be a single empty day. It would be a
On June 6, 1983, one month after the arrest of Father Sigitas Tamkevičius, his prishioners in Kybartai went around the church in procession on their knees, praying for their beloved pastor.
tragedy if I did not know how to inject meaning into my present life. I would be like the man who received a talent and buried it in the ground, earning nothing...
During the past ten. months, I have learned to place more trust in God; but even when we forget, He is in the vessel of our life and does not allow it to sink.
Please give my regards to everyone who remembers me. My prayers and sacrifices are for all of you. May the love of Jesus Christ grow in your hearts.
February 24, 1984
April 18 was very special for me — I thank the Lord for the gift of the priesthood. Twenty - two years ago, on the Wednesday before Easter (just as this year), ten of us deacons stepped with trembling heart before the main altar of the cathedral, and prostrating ourselves, prayed to the martyrs and other saints for help. Afterwards, Bishop Petras Maželis of Telšiai ordained us to the priesthood. On April 23, the second day of Easter, I offered my first
Father Sigitas Tamkevičius
Holy Mass in the church of my home parish. I am infinitely grateful to the Lord both for the priesthood, and for the road covered. I have always felt the protective hand of Divine Providence, and only with its support I guarded like a precious pearl the ideals of the priesthood; it seems as though these years were not spent in vain, although, if I had known how to cooperate with God's grace perfectly, the results would have been somewhat better. May the Lord be merciful to me for failing to do as I was supposed to! My present life will perhaps fill those gaps which turned up in my ministry.
Easter brought much joy. No matter where you are, the Christ who conquered death will reach and revive you. How sad it would be to live if one did not know the Lord Who suffered, died and rose. With a holy tremor in my heart, I remember those precious Easter mornings when, taking the monstrance from the tomb of Christ, I would intone, "Linksma diena mums nušvito" ("The joyous day has dawned for us!"), and the crowd of thousands, like angel choirs, would continue the holy Easter hymn with joyful hearts, singing the ineffably beautiful Alleluia. Perhaps we must for some years intone the Resurrection hymn, not with our lips, but with our lives... We must learn to be content with the minimum in all things. This is the essential condition for all to attain happiness. He who wants much of everything will never be at peace or full of joy. I pray for you all and bless you!
From the letters of Father Alfonsas Svarinskas:
This was a good month. I received several letters. (The faithful write abundantly, but Father Svarinskas does not receive their letters — Ed. Note) I am very, very sincerely grateful to everyone for their Cyrenian assistance, and I pray for all kinds of blessings for everyone... I am very grateful for the Masses in January (The anniversary of his arrest was commemorated in Viduklė — Ed. Note), God alone is our hope and protection... I thank Bishop Julijonas (Steponavičius) and all who remember me and send greetings...
Everything could be tolerable, but I deeply regret being unable to offer Mass, to go to confession and Holy Communion. May God accept that sacrifice also.
You ask about my health. Psychologically and spiritually, I feel well. I believe in the triumph of good, but 1 would like to do so much more work in my homeland, and this torments me. Physically, I do not feel bad: I am alive and well. ...Every month in the store, I can buy 5 to 7 rubles worth of margarine, cheap candy, vegetable fats and onions. That's enough! They extracted two teeth — periodontal disease! I exercise every day... so my health is good... Please forgive the simple thoughts,
Father Alfonsas Svarinskas
there is so much I would like to say. (It is thought that he is allowed to send letters only on everyday topics — Ed. Note.)
March 18, 1984
My Spirits are good. Everything that happens is the will of God. I am not complaining of my health, only working every day I get a little tired, so I rest more (2 — 3 hours) on Sundays. Then the following week is better. In my spare time, I read newspapers and magazines received from Lithuania, I work on my French, I have learned Italian and I am preparing to study Spanish. I think that in our lives, everything can come in handy. The prospects are poor. The world has lost God and sunk in darkness... There is so much more I would like to write...
May 20, 1984