Holy Father,

The Catholic Lithuanian nation sincerely thanks Your Holiness for the blessing bestowed on those participating in the Festival of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Šiluva, for publicizing it to the world, for your telegram on the occasion of the Festival of the Mother of Mercy at the Gates of Dawn in Vilnius and for your cease­less concern for the Church in our country!

United in prayer at the feet of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we beseech the Lord for health and abundant divine blessing for Your Holiness on your apostolic journies, disseminating the Spirit and the Light of Christ to all nations.

Regardless of all difficulties and actual circumstances, we desire and we hope to see a visit by Your Holiness to our homeland, celebrating the 600-year jubilee of our baptism.

All of believing Lithuania, which is determined to remain faithful to Christ and to His successor, the Pope of Rome, look for­ward to this grace.

To the U.S. Bishops' Conference


We heard with surprise and gratitude by overseas radio that the painful problems of the Catholic Church in Lithuania had been raised in the U.S. Bishops' Conference.

The faithful of Lithuania sincerely thank the U.S. Bishops' Conference for the attention paid to our little nation, for your Chris­tian sensitivity toward its troubles, and the moral support to the per­secuted and struggling Catholic Church in Lithuania. May Almighty God reward you!



To: His Excellency, Bishop Julijonas Steponavičius From: The Priests of the Diocese of Vilkaviškis

Your Excellency,


"God's gift was not a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power, and love, and self-control" (TTim. 1,7)

We sincerely greet you on the occasion of your honorable golden jubilee of priesthood and diamond jubilee of birth, and it is our wish that you remain its strong and unyielding "...herald, its apostle and its teacher." (2Tim. 1,11)

Signed by 83 priests