[The Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania]

First number was published March 19, 1972; last – March 19, 1989. 81 numbers were issued. First 19 numbers were edited in Simnas (Alytus district), several numbers after that – in Kazlų Rūda (Kapsukas district), all other – in Kybartai (Vilkaviškis district).

Editor – Rev. Sigitas Tamkevičius (edited 57 numbers). Rev. Jonas Boruta became the patron and the editor of the Chronicle after arrest of S. Tamkevičius in 1983.

Nun Gerarda Elena Šuliauskaitė became main helping hand of the editors. Nuns of the Sisters of the Holy Family Congregation (Genovaitė Navickaitė, Ona Vitkauskaitė, Bernadeta Mališkaitė, Birutė Briliūtė, Ona Šarakauskaitė, Ona Virginija Kavaliauskaitė) and of the Sisters of Jesus of the Eucharist congregation (Monika Gavėnaitė, Julija Kuodytė, Bronė Vazgelevičiūtė) did most of the work in publishing The Chronical.

Petras Plumpa organized multiplication, creation of cover and edited language of The Chronicle till his arrest 1974. Kazimieras Ambrasas, Albertas Dilys edited language, Virginijus Jaugelis multiplied with rotaprint. Rev. Antanas Gražulis took care of technical issues, Ona Norušytė – Janušauskienė translated texts from foreign languages.

The Chronicle was the most long-lasting underground periodical in Lithuania and the most long-lasting without hiatus samizdat periodical in the Soviet Union. It was issued quite regularly (one number in two – three months) and held the same structure, style, content and volume, despite arrests of its editors and collaborators.

Ideas to publish such periodical arouse in the clandestine conventions of the Lithuania priests. Such publication was approbated by deported bishops Vincentas Sladkevičius and Julijonas Steponavičius and by Jesuit Father Provincial Jonas Danyla. Firstly the name of the periodical should be “Vivos voco” and it should publish publicistic articles of condition of the Catholic Church in Lithuania. But bishop V. Sladkevičius suggested name “The Chronical of the Catholic Church in Lithuania” after Russian “Chronicle of Current Events”. Focus on giving publicity to facts was picked up from Russian Chronicle too. Lithuanian Chronicle almost didn’t publish publicistic or other articles and concentrated on short factual information about violations of right to believe, persecution of churchgoers in Lithuania (there was a section devoted to persecution of Catholics in other republics of USSR). The separate section was devoted to persecution of believers in schools. Big part of the periodical was devoted to petitions to soviet government institutions in which demands to stop persecutions of believers and respect human rights were expressed. Information about persecution because political creeds, material from political processes (description of them), excerpts from letters of political prisoners, information about repressions, lists of political prisoners Lithuanians, information about new underground periodicals were published in The Chronicle. Some secular publications (as Letter of the 26 Lithuanian scientists to the head of Lithuanian SSR about building of nuclear plant in the Ignalina district) were printed too.

Information from all Lithuania was gathered by priests, nuns and churchgoers. Such information had to be (and were) checked because false information could be employed by soviet authorities to discredit The Chronicle.

All numbers of The Chronical reached West through Moscow dissidents and tourists emigre that attended Lithuania. All they were reprinted, part of numbers were translated into English, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, and German.

Multiplied by various means: typewriters, mimeograph, copier (ERA), spirit duplicator. Circulation was about 200-300 copies at the beginning, later it was reduced to 100-150 copies for safety’s sake.

Year of publication

2008-2022 Read & give to other!

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