The Route of Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis

14 Sites

18 Kilometers

4 Hours

Leading Vilnius Diocese in 1918–1925 was one of the most difficult periods in the life of Jurgis Matulaitis,“wrote Tadeusz Górski MIC in his book “The Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis“. That was a period of great uncertainty: an unstable victory for Independence was barely achieved, the Temporary Lithuanian Government was functioning in a climate of opposition in Vilnius, and during the years of the fight for Lithuanian Independence (1918–1920), the government in Vilnius was constantly changing, what had a great impact on the everyday lives of citizens, as well as the functioning of the Church. The only real and significant seat in the capital was that of the bishop which was taken after a long period by a religious brother who was a Lithuanian, a fellow countryman.

Father Jurgis Matulaitis returned to Lithuania in 1918, just as WWI was ending. He had been abroad for a long period where he studied, lectured and professed his Marian vows. Upon his return, he found out that the Lithuanian Council wanted a Lithuanian to occupy the bishop’s seat in Vilnius, and he was one of the candidates. This caused a great deal of stress for Fr. Matulaitis as he was deeply convinced that he would be more beneficial to the Church and society with his religious brothers, instead of, God forbid, occupying the bishop’s seat.

This route takes you through various locations in Vilnius that mark the years when Bishop Jurgis Matulaitis lived and worked here, where many unexpected and important encounters took place, and difficult decisions were made.


Descriptions, photos and details

Vilnius Train Station

In October of 1918, Jurgis Matulaitis was appointed as Bishop of Vilnius, though until that time he was quite active in requesting that his candidacy would not be debated and had even written letters on this subject to the visitor Achille Ratti (who later becamePope Pius XI) in Poland and the Baltic States. In the appointment letter, it was noted that if Matulaitis refused the position, his refusal would be dismissed. After receiving the letter, he was unable to sleep that night. He wrote that he felt a heavy load falling on him. Ratti the visitor knew well about Matulaitis’ reluctance and said, “All of this confirms that we have made the best selection.

Shortly after this nomination, members of the Lithuanian Council came to him to discuss his installation, and to ask that he would speak in Lithuanian during the ceremony. Matulaitis recalled, “I responded to them that as bishop, I am appointed not to the nation, but to the people and the Church.” After their visit, the priests from the Vilnius chapter arrived, most of whom were Polish speakers. They asked that he speak in Polish first during his installation, and would not speak in Belarusian, because according to them, there weren’t any in Vilnius. That year, however, the newspaper Dziennik Wilenski estimated that 17% of Vilnius residents were Belarusian.

Bishop Matulaitis’ consecration took place at Kaunas Cathedral on December 1st, 1918. He left Kaunas on the morning of December 8th. On the train, he didnt choose a private compartment, but rather sat among the other travelers in a regular train car and was happy that he actually managed to get a ticket. None of the passengers recognized him on the train, but at the Lentvaris station there was some bustle because Bishop Matulaitis met the pastor of Lentvaris and his parishioners who were actually on their way to Vilnius to congratulate him. In Vilnius, he was greeted by the representatives from the priests’ chapter, the Lithuanian Council and administration of the city.

Train Station is open
4.30 a.m.–23.30 p.m.

Gate of Dawn

After arriving at the train station in Vilnius, he went to pray at the miraculous painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Gate of Dawn. In the sacristy, he was given a letter from Prime Minister Augustinas Voldemaras demanding that he would speak in Belarusian during his installation, and that the Lithuanian Council would give the main congratulation speech. Meanwhile, many priests were actually very opposed to the bishop addressing the Belarusians.

It was very difficult to see confronting interests of different nationalities in the place where all of these people had a common deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Unfortunately, the tension between various ethnic groups was very obvious. Only a few Lithuanians had established themselves in the upper class of the city as just recently Lithuanians used to make up a small percentage of Vilnius’ residents. Their share in the capital was on the rise, but still the majority of Vilnius’ residents were Polish speakers. The Jewish population supported the Lithuanian side in political issues and agreed with the vision of an independent Lithuania which had been promoted by the Lithuanian Council. Poles living in Vilnius had a great deal of influence in society, culture, and religion. Some of them wanted to continue the tradition of a union, but others had a nationalistic vision of annexing Lithuania to Poland. The Polish speakers also showed their superiority by by impeding and minimizing Belarusian revival.

Chapel is open

Monday-Sunday – 8 a.m.–7 p.m.

Holy Mass in the Chapel

Monday–Saturday – 9.30 a.m. (in Lithuanian)
Monday–Saturday – 10.00 a.m. (in Polish)
Sunday – 9.30 a.m. (in Lithuanian)

Church of St. Theresa
Holy Mass (in Lithuanian)
Monday–Saturday – 6 p.m.
Sunday – 11 a.m., 6 p.m.
On the first Friday and Saturday of every month – 9 a.m.
Holy Mass (in Polish)
Monday–Saturday – 5 p.m.
Sunday – 9 a.m., 1 p.m., 5 p.m.
On the first Friday and Saturday of every month – 10 a.m.
Feast days – Indulgences

Minor indulgence feasts of the Mother of Mercy are celebrated on the 16th day of each month with Holy Mass in St. Teresa’s Church at 10 a.m. (in Polish) and 12 p.m. (noon) (in Lithuanian).
The great indulgence feast of the Mother of Mercy of the Gate of Dawn is celebrated for eight days, starting from the week on which falls the day of November 16.

Church of the Holy Trinity  (Greek Catholics)

During the period of Czarist Russia, a decision was made to russify the churches that have distanced themselves from the Orthodox Church (especially the Greek Catholics), and convert them into Russian Orthodox churches. Bishop Matulaitis decided to return all of the churches that had been taken away from the Greek Catholics. Those included: the present St. Nicholas Church, Orthodox Church of St. Paraskeva, Cathedral of the Theotokos and the Church of the Holy Trinity. All were returned to the Greek Catholics.

Bishop Matulaitis strove to strengthen and revive the Belarusian communities living in the territory of Vilnius Diocese. In 1924, he supported festive celebration of the jubilee of St. Josaphat Kuntsevych. The bishop had also publicly pledged to learn Belarusian and kept his promise. Bishop Matulaitis knew that it was the language of the downtrodden, not acknowledged by Russians, Polish, or Lithuanians. There were no Masses, homilies, or catecheses in that language, and it could not even be used during Confession.

Church is open
Monday–Saturday – 7.30 a.m.– 7 p.m.
Sunday – 8 a.m.–7 p.m.
Holy Mass (in Ukrainian)
Monday–Friday – 5.30 p.m.
Saturday – 10 a.m., 5.30 p.m.
Sunday – 10 a.m., 5.30 p.m.

The Church of St. Casimir

Bishop Jurgis Matulaitis became friends with the German Jesuit Father Friedrich Muckermann in Vilnius. He used to celebrate Mass at St. Casimir’s Church which had earlier belonged to the Jesuits but had been designated to the Orthodox at the beginning of the 19th century. Fr. Muckermann had a promise of the bishop that the church eventually would be returned to the Jesuits. People gathered to the Mass not only for the good homilist, but also for the church itself, as it had not been accessible for a long time prior.

After consulting with Bishop Matulaitis, Fr. Muckermann began holding conferences for the workers. The Christian Worker’s Union was formed as a result of these meetings that were attended en masse. The Bolsheviks were not happy with this situation and were just waiting for an opportunity to take action against this organization. When the organization published a newspaper, the Bolsheviks confiscated it at once and ordered Fr. Muckermann to leave Vilnius within 24 hours. The workers opposed this decision and gathered at the church door where they kept guard. The militia tried to disperse the crowd and fired at the church windows angering the crowd even more. The workers then disarmed the militia. After that, the Red Army surrounded the church. This ordeal took several days and eventually the Bolsheviks lost patience, broke inside, began to shoot at the ceiling, dispersed the crowd and arrested Fr. Muckermann. Some workers were arrested and locked up in Lukiškės Prison. The church was finally locked and security guards were placed at the location. The worker’s head office was destroyed.

After these incidents, Matulaitis wrote a pastoral letter which was distributed to priests in Lithuanian and Polish and also read during Mass at the Cathedral. Initially, he addressed the faithful, “You Catholics have a right to demand freedom of conscience so that your beliefs would be respected, that your churches wouldn’t be desecrated. <...> You have a right and a responsibility to defend your Church.” However, in addition, the bishop encouraged the faithful to be mindful of the fact that the battle would not contradict the teachings of Christ. After this homily at the Cathedral, which according to witnesses was heard by tens of thousands of people, Matulaitis returned home with the feeling that he may be arrested. He prepared a list designating who will manage the diocese and look after the priests while he would be in prison. The Bolsheviks released the imprisoned workers two weeks later. The Jesuit Fr. Muckermann was forced to leave Lithuania.

Church is open
Monday–Friday – 11 a.m.–6.30 p.m.
Sunday – 8 a.m.–7 p.m.
Holy Mass (in Lithuanian)
Monday–Friday – 5.30 p.m.
Sunday – 10.30 a.m., 12 p.m. (noon)
Holy Mass (in Russian)
Sunday – 9 a.m.
+370 5 212 1715

The Bishops’ Residence and the Curia of the Diocese of Vilnius

The building at Pilies Street 8 is indeed a great possession, stretching from Pilies Street around the corner down to Bernardinų Street). At the beginning of the 17th century, Vilnius Bishop Valerijonas Protasevičius was in charge of establishing the Jesuit College in Vilnius, and also created a dormitory for less-privileged college students. The dormitory was called Valerijonas’ or the Lithuanian-Polish “bursa”. The bishops of Vilnius settled in this building at Pilies Street 8 in the 19th century as their previous residence was in the current Presidential Palace which was occupied by Vilnius’ governing body of Czarist Russia. Part of the first-floor space was rented out to publisher Juozapas Zavadskis who ran a bookstore here.

The Bishop of Vilnius Jurgis Matulaitis resided in this building from 1918. His apartment was on the third floor. The Vilnius Diocese Curia moved from this building to its current location at Šventaragio Street in the 1940’s. Presently, the Lithuanian Catholic Academy of Science occupies the space where Fr. Matulaitis lived.

This location became a true refuge for Jurgis Matulaitis in Vilnius, but it was also always full of of visitors and people in need of help. Father Juozas Tumas, famous Lithuanian writer and major public figure, was one of the most awaited guests. He recalls his visits to Matulaitis, “Bishop Jurgis was easy to find because he was always home, and he didn’t hold to a strict visiting etiquette. Whoever wanted to visit, knocked on the door, and the servant would bring the person straight to his private office without fancy decor, instead of the official guest salon.”

Vilnius Archcathedral Basilica

The installation of the Bishop Matulaitis that took place in 1918 was very ceremonial. This was the first time that a Lithuanian bishop was filling the seat of the Bishop of the capital Vilnius. The canopy was carried by six seminarians. Many people were gathered to the event. The bells of the Cathedral however were silent – the Germans had confiscated them for the war industry, but the church bells from other churches echoed throughout the city. The faithful that had gathered waited for the Liturgy of the Word and the Gospel. First of all, the Gospel was read in Polish, and Bishop Matulaitis gave a brief homily in Polish. He was interrupted regularly by voices in Polish saying, “Long live our bishop.”Upon finishing speaking in Polish, Matulaitis waited for the Gospel to be read in Lithuanian only to be told by the organizer that that was not the tradition. So, the bishop had no choice but to speak in Lithuanian. “I will try to ensure that love will prevail, that there will be no fighting, contempt or grievances. I want to be forgiving for the angry, supportive of the weak and a shelter for the righteous…Trust in me! Open up your hearts to me.” After that, the newspaper Free Lithuania (Laisvoji Lietuva) wrote, “As soon as the bishop began speaking in Lithuanian, some of the Poles stood up to leave. Upon reaching the door, they were held back by other participants – If the bishop is speaking in Lithuanian, it must be necessary.”

The Vilnius Cathedral has witnessed not only Bishop Jurgis Matulaitis’ installation, but also  an outbreak of Bolshevik and Polish fighting in mid-April during Easter 1919,. The Polish cavalry attacked Vilnius in two directions – one headed in the direction of Gediminas Hill and to the train station – and the other towards the Green Bridge. The city looked occupied, and the Bolsheviks retreated. Unfortunately, not for long. During the end of Easter Mass at the Cathedral, the sounds of machine gun rounds, grenades and artillery fire were suddenly heard. The windows of the Cathedral began to shatter. The organ went silent. People lied down on the ground. The bishop was quickly led from the altar to the sacristy. After a while, the shooting could be heard further in the distance, into the city. The Bolsheviks had retreated to the northern and western parts of the city and reorganized. They attempted to regain their positions. In Vilnius, actual street fighting broke out and local residents joined it. Some took the side of the Poles and the others, the Bolsheviks. Only on the third day did the Bolsheviks finally retreat in the direction of Maišiagala outside of the city. The Poles in Vilnius were overjoyed and the Lithuanians were overwhelmed. During Easter, they were waiting for their own army and now Pilsudski’s legionnaires were in the city–. There were rumors that the Lithuanian soldiers were very close to the city and could see the towers in Vilnius.

Church is open
Monday–Sunday – 7 a.m.–7 p.m.
Excursions are not available during the Holy Mass.
Holy Mass (in Lithuanian)
Monday–Saturday – 8 a.m., 5.30 p.m.
Sunday – 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11.15 a.m., 12.30 p.m., 5.30 p.m.

Holy Mass (in Latin)
Sunday – 6.30 p.m.

Information about visiting the crypts of Vilnius Cathedral:
Church Heritage Museum
+370 600 12080
Feast days – Indulgences
The Feast of St. Casimir –  March 4.

Convent of Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Vilnius

In the spring of 1918, Jurgis Matulaitis returned to his birthplace of Marijampolė and undertook the matters of reviving the Marian Congregation (Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception), to which he belonged himself. First, he began to frame the rules of community life, describingthe mission, specific tasks and responsibilities, formation of new members of the congregation. As if that wasn’t enough, his greatest concern was establishing a new Lithuanian congregation for women. Before the war, he had met two young women whom he sent to study in Switzerland with the Sisters of the Holy Cross. Upon his arrival in Marijampolė, he found six more candidates who were prepared to enter the new congregation. With no further delay, Jurgis Matulaitis began preparing their statutes. The new congregation was given the title of the Sisters of the Poor by Matulaitis as the sisters were to serve the poor, but the official title for the sisters remained the same as for the Marian brothers – The Immaculate Conception of Mary. Eight sisters were the first to join the congregation.

Today, the Sisters of the Poor have established themselves next to the Church of the Holy Cross in Vilnius. The sisters keep the Social Center and work with the resident students.

Shrine of Divine Mercy

In 1924, Bishop Matulaitis requested that military chaplain Fr. Michael Sopoćko would return to Vilnius. Fr. Sopoćko was born, grew up, and studied in the Vilnius region, but at that time was assigned in Poland. The Bishop wanted Fr. Sopoćko to take care of a large military district and later to organize youth groups. Thanks to the initiative of Fr. Sopoćko, St. Ignatius Church in Vilnius was reconstructed for military pastoral care and was reconsecrated in 1929.

Fr. Sopoćko’s arrival in Vilnius also destined his meeting with sister Faustina Kowalska from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy who had experienced numerous revelations of Jesus in Vilnius. Fr. Sopoćko became sister Faustina’s confessor and spiritual director. In order to minimize long confessions and wanting to delve deeper into her experience, he encouraged her to document her inner life in a diary. Today, Saint Faustina’s journal is one of the most famous books of mystical experience.

In 1935, the painter Eugeniusz Kazimirowski painted the image of Divine Mercy based on the apparitions experienced bysister Faustina. During the revelations, Jesus told to sister Faustina, “I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over [its] enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory.” The original image of Divine Mercy today is revered at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Vilnius.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Church of the Holy Trinity originally was located in the spot where the Shrine of Divine Mercy Shrine stands today. The church was rebuilt in the 18th century and belonged to Vilnius University. In 1821, the Czarist Government converted the church into the Russian orthodox Church of the Visitation. In 1920, the church was returned to the Catholics. Fr. Sopoćko was assigned here in 1946–1947. After World War II, the Soviet Government closed the church. On March 8th, 2004 Cardinal Audrys Juozas Bačkis issued a decree of establishing the Shrine of Divine Mercy and transferred the image of Divine Mercy to its central altar.

The Shrine is open 24 hours a day.
Holy Mass (in Lithuanian)
Monday–Saturday – 10 a.m., 12 p.m. (noon), 8 p.m.
Sunday – 10 a.m., 12 p.m. (noon), 6 p.m., 8 p.m.
Holy Mass (in Polish)
Monday–Sunday – 4 p.m.
Holy Mass (in French)
On the first Friday of every month at 6 p.m.
Chaplet of Divine Mercy is prayed daily at 12.45 p.m., 3 p.m. (in Lithuanian), 3.40 p.m. (in Polish)
Feast days – Indulgences
The Solemnity of Divine Mercy is celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter.
Divine Mercy Week is celebrated from the second day of Easter until the Solemnity of Divine Mercy.
A minor feast of the Shrine is celebrated every Friday.

The Small Jewish Ghetto

Jews composed  one third of the residents of Vilnius after WWI, totaling to55,000. The constantly changing government affected their lives significantly. Bishop Jurgis Matulaitis often met with Jewish rabbis when they needed intercession or assistance, he was always responsive, and would help them as much as humanly possible. He recalled, “Once again the Jewish leaders asked me to intercede for the Jews and to calm the people. They told me how the Jews are being mistreated at the hands of the Legionnaires. A great many completely innocent people are being arrested and harassed. <…> I had, in fact, seen that crowd of Jewish people and how abominably they were treated. Having arrested them, they dragged them along the streets, pushed them around, then herded them to prison. In some places they shot completely innocent people. They burned the beards of some of the Jews, even the Rabbi of Lentvaris, a seventy-year-old man. He covered his face with his hand, so they hit him on the hand and now it is swollen. The Jewish leaders also complained about the house searches: they take whatever they want—money, valuables. The soldiers themselves create provocations. They throw bombs and start shooting, then they arrest innocent people and demand ransom. After I had heard all this, I promised to speak up for them wherever I could, and, in fact, did so.”

The Jewish community of Vilnius was centered in the Old Town, they lived and worked here, had small shops or other businesses. During WWII, this was the Small Jewish Ghetto housed in Stiklių, Gaono, Antokolskio, and Žydų streets. Approximately 11,000-12,000 people were brougth here, primarily the intellectual elite, unskilled workers, disabled, and children. The Small Ghetto was closed in 1941.

The Church of St. Nicholas

Father Juozas Tumas-Vaižgantas and Jurgis Matulaitis were close friends. There is one account of Bishop Matulaitis receiving a letter one morning that said Fr. Tumas was seriously ill and was requesting to receive the sacraments. After morning Mass, the bishop hurried to see the patient. He listened to his confession and was ready to give him Holy Communion. Fr. Tumas proceeded to get out of bed and kneel on the floor asthat was how he was accustomed to receiving Communion. He did not have the strength to get back into bed and the bishop had to assist him. Bishop Matulaitis wrote in his journal, “ I felt sorry for him. He is a talented writer, and his stories are very picturesque. Aside from certain weaknesses, Tumas is a very decent and good priest, a man with a pure soul, an idealist who loves his country passionately and is devoted to it with his whole heart.”

Fr. Tumas-Vaižgantas was active in the Lithuanian War Relief Association. They gathered in various locations, often at the clergy house of St. Nicholas Church. During the Polish occupation, Bishop Matulaitis met with Lithuanian students here and also celebrated Holy Mass in Lithuanian.

Church is open
Monday–Friday – 3.30 p.m.–6.30 p.m.
Sunday – 7.15 a.m.–3 p.m.
Holy Mass (in Lithuanian)
Monday–Friday – 6 p.m.
Saturday (and national holidays) – 9 a.m.
Sunday – 8 a.m., 10 a.m. (with translation to sign language), 2 p.m..
+370 5 262 3069

Vilnius Seminary, St. George’s Church

Bishop Jurgis was very attentive to the activities at the seminary and took great care of clergy formation. People often came to him to complain that the professors at the seminary were trying to entangle the seminarians into patriotic activities and that the seminary was being accused of fueling an opposing nationalism. Administration at the seminary saw a threat to Catholicism with the rebirth of Lithuanian and Belarusian nationalism. “The clerics sense that, and then they start hiding their nationality, the personality and the person begins to deteriorate resulting in the greatest nationalists. All nations should be given freedom, all should be respected and treated equally. And regarding language – everybody should learn Lithuanian and Belarusian,” said one Polish priest. When the bishop heard that, he said, “I would not demand that. For me, it is more important that upon leaving the seminary, a priest would take with him the true spirit of a Catholic apostle, that he would be determined to take care of and serve the whole flock without prejudice. Then he will learn where he needs what language. What is the point if priests know several languages and use them for political gain for a political party, but not for the good and salvation of the people.” He continued to hear more complaints about the activities at the seminary, and began visiting it more often to check how the lectures were going, how the textbooks were being used, evaluated teaching methodology, noted what language questions were being asked in, whetherthe professors were on time and do not  released their students earlier than scheduled time. In his notes, Bishop Matulaitis indicated if the professors were arriving prepared and if their teaching style was attractive. There were improvements in the activities at the seminary after the Bishop’s visit – the instructors began arriving on time to the lectures, were not derelict and were better prepared.

Bishop Matulaitis also met separately with the seminarians. They complained that they were forbidden from speaking Belarusian or Lithuanian among themselves, and when enrolling, they were told to register as Polish, and their names were arbitrarily changed into Polish. The bishop reassured them, “I will do you no wrong because of your nationality or language.” Some of the seminarians returned overjoyed after the meeting with the bishop, and that he treats national origin and language differently. In the meantime, the Polish elite said that the bishop was destroying the fortress of the Polish priests.

The church is closed.

The Home of the Lithuanian Council (destroyed)

At this location, there is a plaque which tells that in 1918 this was the site where the Lithuanian Council worked under the direction of future Lithuania’s President Antanas Smetona and the Cabinets of Ministers of two Prime Ministers, Augustinas Voldemaras and Mykolas Sleževičius, were established. After WWII, only an empty square remains in the place of the former building.

Jurgis Matulaitis was one of two candidates being considered for Vilnius’ bishop’s seat in Munich by the Lithuanian Council together with Nuncio Pacelli. The Lithuanian Council had reservations about this appointment, but went on to initiate it. Some felt that since Fr. Matulaitis had lived in Poland for many years, he would not be a strong enough Lithuanian. Once it was agreed that he was the best candidate, they began to try convincing the future bishop of this. Fr. Matulaitis said, “If my sacrifice is needed for Lithuanians, I won’t refuse. But just know that you are sending me to destruction. I am not afraid of danger and don’t cherish my person, but it is frightening to know that I while sacrificing myself I will not be able to do anything.””

At the end of 1918, with the Bolsheviks approaching, Bishop Matulaitis began his leadership. He encouraged the priests of Vilnius to avoid political topics during their homilies, not to try any antics, and to focus on positively proclaiming Christ’s teaching. The period of 1918–-1919 was exceptionally stressful. The German Army was being beat and the tension began to increase slowly regarding who would take over the German weaponry. The Poles intended to take over Lithuania. At the New Year, the German flag was taken down and the Lithuanian flag was raised and flew over Gediminas Castle. However, by the evening, the Polish legionnaires who had taken over the administration of the city arrived and declared a state of war and began raiding the homes of Jews, Belarusians, and Lithuanians. The Lithuanian Council had no choice but to relocate to Kaunas. Mykolas Biržiška, the Council’s legal representative, was the only one remaining.

In January of 1919, the Revolutionary Provisional Lithuanian Government settled into the premises, led by V. Mickevičius-Kapsukas. The Bolshevik Government did not respect the rights of the clergy. The Red Army and youth were housed in the clergy houses and in the Bishops’ residence. They announced a decree regarding seizing Church property, the removal of chaplains and religious education from teaching institutions, and they terrorized priests and Bishop Matulaitis.

In the battle near Vistula on August 15th, 1920, the Polish Army slaughtered the Bolsheviks, which began retreating back to the East. At the beginning of the autumn, Lithuanian state institutions began slowly returning to Vilnius from Kaunas. However, the Poles did not abide by Lithuania’s declared neutrality and slowly began to creep toward Vilnius. On September 28th, Bishop Matulaitis wrote, “My nerves can’t bear all of these changes. Not two years have passed, and six governments have already changed in Vilnius. Life just gets organized and is destroyed yet again and again. If the Poles come back again and everything is changed once more, I wonder if they will even tolerate me. Even though I stay out of politics, they still can’t stand the fact that a Lithuanian is in the bishop’s seat in Vilnius.” Lithuanian institutions were settled in Vilnius until October 9th, the day when the Suwałki Agreement was broken.

Trinapolis Monastery

After WWI, the Polish Government returned the Trinapolis complex to the diocese. This was the former bishops’ residence inherited from the Trinitarian brothers including the manor, church, park, and farm. In 1832, the Russians had claimed it and gave it to the Orthodox Metropolitan. Bishop Matulaitis decided to establish an orphanage for Lithuanian children in the premises of the Trinapolis Monastery. On warm summer days, the bishop would go there to see how things were going, to relax a bit, and to enjoy the world of the children. The large farm territory was too difficult to manage, so it was rented out to the Lithuanian Committee of Vilnius. The renters would provide vegetables and other harvest for the orphanage according to contractual obligation.

Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis Church

Built in 1996, this was the first church to be built after restoration of Lithuanian Independence. Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis was chosen as its patron. The parish has been functioning here since 1988 and was established by Bishop Julijonas Steponavičius. The first buildings to be constructed were the parish house and chapel. In 2019, in honor of the 100-year anniversary of the installation of Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis, a prayer path that encircles the church was unveiled.

Church is opened
Monday–Friday – 8 a.m.–7.30 p.m.
Saturday – 8.30 a.m.–7.30 p.m.
Sunday – 7 a.m.–7.30 p.m.
Holy Mass (in Lithuanian)

Monday–Friday – 9.00 a.m., 6.30 p.m.

Saturday – 10.00 a.m., 6.30 p.m.

Sunday – 9.30 a.m., 10.30 a.m. (Holy Mass for children from September 1st-May 31st), 12.00 p.m. (noon), 6.30 p.m. (Youth Mass)

Holy Mass (in Polish)

Monday–Friday – 5.00 p.m.

Saturday – 9.00 a.m., 5.00 p.m.

Sunday – 8.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m., 5.00 p.m. (Holy Mass for children from September 1st-May 31st)