All three waves of Lithuanian immigrants are represented in the parish community. The pastor, Father Steponas Žukas, belongs to the first immigrant wave. He learned to speak Lithuanian as an adult at Vilnius University.
Father Žukas loves Lithuania, travels there yearly and organizes tours to Lithuania. He gathered the funds to renovate the roof of Šv. Kryžiaus Atradimo church in Vilnius. He's been the chaplain at children camps in Lithuania. He cares for the Boston area Lithuanian community, who live as far south as New Bedford and as far north as Exeter, NH.
Every Sunday after 10:30 Mass there is a brunch, sometimes simple (coffee, sandwiches, cakes), sometimes elaborate (kugelis, sausages, salads, etc.). Everyone is welcome to participate, to get to know each other, to get engaged in the life of the parish. Kitchen leaders are Adelė Povilavičienė and Elena Kuncaitienė. The food is prepared by parishioners. On special occasions the food is prepared by Daiva Navickienė.
Every October there is a Parish Bazaar. Items on display, which can be purchased, include amber, carvings, crafts, books, dolls, candles, costume jewelry, etc. The price is right, as everything is donated by parishioners. There are games of chance and lotteries. Children are entertained with games, stories, a "Wishing Well" , a "Haunted House", etc. The dinner is delicious - sausage, cabbage, kugelis, salads, mushroom soup, etc.
Every year the parish celebrates traditional Lithuanian Kūčios after Christmas Eve Mass. A family atmosphere prevails as everyone sits down to a traditional meal of šližikai (poppy seed crackers), various salads, herring, fish, kisielius (cranberry pudding), etc. Afterwards everyone sings Christmas carols. All Lithuanians are warmly invited, especially those who are without a family and would have to celebrate Christmas Eve alone.
During the Christmas season a group of parishioners visits Marion Manor and sings Christmas carols (in Lithuanian and English).
The parish choir forms the basis for the group "Bostono Giedoriai", with director Daiva Navickienė, who is the parish organist. "Bostono Giedoriai" represent Boston at the biennial Lithuanian Song Festivals. The choir sings traditional hymns.
Jaunos širdys rehearse
Masses are also enriched by the "Young at Heart" group, including a flute and guitars. The "Young at Heart" ensemble has performed in New Haven, Washington, D.C., Hartford and other cities. The leader is Rima Girniuvienė, the musical consultant - Norbertas Lingertaitis.
Every year the parish hosts an Easter breakfast after 10:30 High Mass. Afterwards children roll Easter eggs and adults compete in an egg-breaking contest.
Every year the parish commemorates Lithuanian Independence Day (February 16) and Terrible June, when hundreds of thousands of Lithuanians were exhiled into Siberia.
The Parish hall is used by various groups, including Lithuanian Scouts, Knights of Lithuania, US Lithuanian Education Council, and others. The choir and ensemble rehearse here, as well as the Lithuanian folk dance group.
The Church itself is used for concerts. Various soloists and groups, both from Lithuania and North America, have performed here, e.g., the Vilnius Quartet, Edmundas Seilius, the Volungė choir and others. The acoustics in the church are fantastic!
Every Spring the Parish has a lottery. Only 250 tickets are printed, increasing the chances of winning a prize - $10,000, $1,500, $1,000 or $500.
Only one thing is missing from Parish life - more young families, their joyful dispostions and life-giving energy, their children, who could fill the ranks of our "Little Peppercorn Garden". We're hoping you come home!
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