The 70th anniversary of Resurrection Parish was celebrated on November 18 with Hollywood flair. Guests were amazed at the spectacular transformation of the parish halls with balloons, lights, red carpet, and photo opportunities. A vast photo exhibition took viewers down memory lane and told the history of the parish, from its inception in 1953 through 70 years of christenings, weddings and decades of special events and commemorations.
Over 400 guests were met by friendly staff serving hors d’oeuvres and were delighted by the stunningly decorated main hall. Stasys Kuliavas presented award-worthy entertainment by the Volungė and Svaja choirs, and a special appearance by the Volungė female ensemble in vestments for their “Sister Act” repertoire. The amusement continued with Jurgis Kuliešius and Dominykas Gužauskas reading excerpts from old parish bulletins.
Distinguished guests and parishioners spoke about their ties to the parish, and Rev. Augustinas Simanavičius, pastor for 37 years, encapsulated the mission of the parish as service to God and neighbour in the spirit of St. Francis. Visitors from Lithuania, Rev. Algirdas Malakauskis, OFM, Franciscan delegate for North America, stressed that this parish was exemplary for the Franciscans renewing their mission in Lithuania. Rev. Br.Benediktas Jurčys, OFM, expressed his gratitude to the parish for responding to new challenges, such as fund-raising for the St. Francis Cancer Centre in Klaipėda.
Honorary Consul-General Paul Kuras and Deputy Head of Mission Inga Miškinytė brought greetings from the Ambassador with thanks to the parish for pastoral care and the promotion of cultural activity in the community. She also presented Lithuanian Foreign Ministry awards for contributions to Lithuania to former pastor Augustinas Simanavičius, OFM, and current pastor Rev. Jonas Šileika, OFM.
“Oscars” were awarded to many parishioners for their contributions to parish life: “Aušra” Sports Club founders, “Kretinga” youth camp leaders, music director Dalia Viskontas, annual charity bazaar organizers, photographers Daina and Romas Puteris, videographer Andy Kaknevičius, parish chefs and many others.
The celebration continued on Sunday with a special Family Day Mass and singing by youth groups. Refreshments were served afterwards, and a video-montage of parish life by Andy Kaknevičius was appreciated by everyone.
The photo gallery by Daina Puteris and Meron Kapuszczak gives us a glimpse into the wonderful festivities organized by the parish social committee.