In the early days of September, 1973, during the feast of the Nativity of Mary, huge crowds of people flocked to Šiluva. On Sunday, September 9, automobiles could no longer get into Šiluva and the fields around the town of Šiluva were full of cars. This year the auto inspectors were considerably more polite than they had been last year. Nevertheless, they still tried to nab the buses on which pilgrims were traveling to Šiluva. The pilgrims have recounted the following: "When we were about three kilometers from Šiluva, the auto inspectors and auxiliary policemen stopped our bus. For a long time our driver was grilled and accused of planning to let the passengers out at Šiluva and of not going to Pakruojis, for in the trip log, Pakruojis was listed as the final destination. After harassing the driver for half an hour, they confiscated his routing slip and passenger list, and issued him a permit to proceed only to Pakruojis. It was late at night when, after lengthy detours, the people reached Šiluva on foot."

    On Sunday, September 9, the Raseiniai police confiscated the candles from vendors near the Šiluva chapel. They pushed one woman into their vehicle and took her away. On the evening of September 8, the police took away to Raseiniai an old woman who was shouting "People, help me!" as they drove off with her.

    On weekdays many vendors of religious articles could be seen in the church itself. They had rosaries pinned on their chests beneath their outer garments.


     Principal Šerkšnys of the secondary school in Baisogala and [Miss] Šidlauskaitė, homeroom teacher of the eleventh-class, berated and insulted eleventh-class students [Miss] Regina Jagėlaitė and [Miss] Vanda Aleksandravičiūtė simply because they had been flower girls in the Easter procession. The teacher tried to shame the girls before the entire class. When the girls explained that their mothers had told them to go to church, Šidlauskaitė retorted, "Perhaps your mothers will also tell you to go to bed with the pastor!"

    Even though the girls were exemplary and good students, because of the flower-strewing incident their conduct marks were lowered and in the characterization in their school records the following entry was made: "Even though the girls were members of the Young Communist League, they have not yet developed an atheistic outlook because when they were in the eleventh-class they attended church." Such an official entry into the characterizations of students discriminates against believers and unmasks the Soviet claim that nothing concerning the religious beliefs of Soviet Union citizens is noted in any official documents.

    Parents wonder how homeroom teacher Šidlauskaitė can nurture youth when she herself should be working on self-improvement.

    Tenth-class student [Miss] Lionė Urbonavičiūtė was upbraided and an effort was made to compromise her for attending church. Her homeroom teacher threatened to note in the characterization in her school records that she goes to church.

    The administrators of the school in Baisogala react somewhat more leniently towards other kinds of misbehavior by students. Several years ago, Vidas Varnas pilfered five coin boxes in the church and tore twelve votive offerings from the altar (damages totaled over 220 rubles). When Varnas finished the secondary school this year, his record was clean.


     On September i, 1973, an unknown official from Jurbarkas Rayon who came to the secondary school in Girdžiai, declared in a speech, "Don't you do as [Mrs.] Mockienė did."

    People began to ask around to find out what this Mockienė had done. It turns out that on April 5, 1973, homeroom teacher Simanavičius had enrolled her daughter, Janina, an eleventh-class student, into the Young Communist League. The mother, deeply disturbed, burned the girl's membership card and sent the homeroom teacher the following note: "My daughter is not of age; therefore you had no right to enroll her without my permission. I consider her enrollment into the Young Communist League invalid, and as for her membership card, I sent it up the chimney in smoke."

    Her husband expressed his fears that she would get a prison sentence for that.

    "Big deal!" Mockienė retorted, "I'll sit it out and come home."

    On April 19 Mockienė was summoned to rayon headquarters to explain her behavior.

    "I burned the card," declared Mockienė, "because they enrolled my daughter in the Young Communist League without my knowledge. Nothing decent comes from those League members. The banks of the Mituva are covered with couples wearing their badges. They are an embarrassment to their parents. I don't want my daughter to grow up into a loose woman. Who robbed the store at Pavidaujys? Who threw up all over the bus passengers while drunk? It's always the students who are members of the Young Communist League. Why don't they put them in the newsletter posted on the bulletin board at school? But when some girl honor students took part in the Easter procession, their caricatures were posted in school. Finally, is enrollment voluntary or compulsory?" the woman asked.

    "Voluntary, of course."

    "Then why are they being forced? Children are being intimidated at school. My daughter cried after coming home and couldn't fall asleep all night."

    It was explained to Mockienė that her daughter would not be allowed to enroll into a school of higher education, and that she herself would be punished.

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    A few years ago, [Mrs.] Riklikienė burned her husband's Communist party membership card. [Mrs.] Stasė Banaitienė acted similarly. Summoned to explain her actions, she sent a note saying, "Two parties can't lie under one blanket."