Global True Lithuania Lithuanian communities and heritage worldwide

Chicago, Illinois

Home to some 80 000 Lithuanians Illinois is perhaps the second important center of Lithuanian nation after Lithuania itself. Lithuanians are nothing new to Chicago, having worked side-by-side with Germans, Poles and the Irish in its massive slaughterhouses as early as late 19th century. Between 1890s and 1930s there were more Lithuanians in Chicago than in any town or city of their still agricultural former homeland. Chicago Lithuanian numbers increased rapidly from 14 000 in 1900 to 80 000 in 1924.

After earning enough money some Lithuanians went back to Europe yet others remained, starting influential families. Elaborate churches were built, Lithuanian restaurants, shops, cultural institutions and media opened. The center of Lithuanian settlement gradually moved: from Bridgeport and Back of the Yards (in 1900s - 1910s) to Marquette Park (in 1950s). After Marquette Park was overtaken by Blacks there is no longer a Lithuanian district in Chicago, but a community center exists in the Lemont suburb.

Sadly, Lituanity in Illinois seems to be somewhat on decline. In 1990s - 2000s several Lithuanian churches were demolished or no longer celebrate Mass in Lithuanian. The older generation of Lithuanians ("second-wave immigrants") pass away, and the third wave fails to replenish Lituanity. Many decades-old Lithuanian restaurants and diners closed down, leaving Marquette Park neighborhood without Lithuanian food for the first time.

Back of the Yards Lithuanian heritage

The prettiest of Chicago's Lithuanian churches is the Baroque revival Holy Cross in Back of the Yards. Built by the original community of slaughterhouse workers in 1913 the elaborate church once anchored a district full of Lithuanian homes and institutions. With immigrants from Latin America displacing Lithuanians the parish was abolished in 1970s and the Lithuanian Mass ceased to be celebrated in ~2005. Condition of the building deterioriated as now only the Sunday Mass is held (in Spanish). Plaque "Lietuvių Rymo katalikų bažnyčia" remains near the entrance ("Lithuanian Roman Catholic church" in pre-modern Lithuanian language when "Rome" was still called "Rymas"), as do the vaults depicting scenes from both Lithuanian and American history.

Holy Cross Lithuanian church and its pre-modern Lithuanian language plaque. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

The life of Lithuanian butchers of the era is described in the fictionalized account "Jungle" by journalist Upton Sinclair still held to be of great importance to Chicago history. It was in these slaughterhouses where the industrial might of the Chicago was born. For the first time the animals were slaughtered in a single city only to be sold in far away places like New York or Boston. Prior to this "to buy meat" meant "to visit a local butcher", something changed for good by the Chicago's businessmen and countless immigrants from thousands of cities and towns around Europe (the number of Lithuanian butchers was only surpassed by Poles).

Bridgeport Lithuanian heritage

Bridgeport was once outflanked by a beautiful massive tower of 1902 Gothic revival St. George Lithuanian church. It was the oldest Lithuanian parish in Chicago (and, in fact, west of the Appalachians). Unfortunately by bishop's decision the church was demolished in 1990 and replaced by a modern building, after donating the church's works of art and furniture to a parish in the recently-independent Lithuania. The riches of the fading emigre were thus symbolically repatriated.

The nearby former 3-floored parish school (1908), declared by to be the "best Lithuanian school in America" by an 1916 Lithuanian-American almanach, still stands although is a non-Lithuanian Philip Armour school (but the plaque "MOKYKLA ŠV. JURGIO K." (St. George C. school) still remains on top). In 1916 it had 450 pupils and a parish hall with 1500 seats (the parish was among the US richest Lithuanian parishes).

Bridgeport St. George Lithuanian church (demolished; left and center), its parish school (top right) and rectory (bottom right).

Bridgeoport also had a 1000-seat Lithuanian theater Milda (est. 1914) that has been also demolished in the same period after a long decline. Another theater "Ramova" still stands albeit closed (3518 S. Halsted Street) with a movement to save it. The name is Lithuanian but the crumbling decor is Spanish.

Bridgeport Ramova theater with its crumbling Lithuanian sign meaning 'Pagan temple'. Google Street View.

A street in Bridgeport is still named Lituanica Avenue. Lithuanian pilots Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas left for their doomed flight from the St. George church there. They became instant martyrs in 1933 when after flying across the Atlantic ocean their plane "Lituanica" crashed in what is now Poland, only several hundred kilometers from destination Kaunas. S. Darius and S. Girėnas were also worldwide pioneers of air mail and their continuous flight time was the second largest ever at the time (6 411 km).

The two pilots who perished while trying to make Lithuania's name famous are still the key figures for the Lithuanian-American community. In 1993 a plaque was unveiled for them in Midway Airport which happens to be at the center of various past and present Lithuanian districts. In 2008 this plaque was reinstated after reconstruction through titanious efforts of some Lithuanians.

Marquette Park Lithuanian heritage

Main historical monument for S. Darius and S. Girėnas stands at the northeastern corner of Marquette Park. The unveiling of this art deco sculpture in 1935 was attended by 60 000 people. The anniversaries of their "glorious but doomed" flight are still celebrated annually there, even if drawing only 100 people. By the way, S. Darius, a lover of sport and Olympic participant, is also credited for writing one of the first books on basketball in Lithuanian (in 1922), making foundations for this American invention to become Lithuania's national

Darius and Girėnas monument on the Marquette Park corner. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

It was east of Marquette Park where post-WW2 Lithuanian community has developed, after the old immigrants were joined by the "second wave" of refugees fleeing from almost certain deaths in their Soviet-occupied country. Coming from intellectual backgrounds these refugees created a well crafted and rich community, centered around Lithuania Plaza street. In its heyday Marquette Park area housed 30 000 Lithuanians (out of total population of 45 000).

Lithuanian church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (B.V.M.) in Lithuanian Plaza Road. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

A large 1957 Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (B.V.M.) towers over the district. It combines post-war architectural austerity with pre-war size and historicist details. Initially criticized this joint work of architect Jonas Mulokas and interior designer V. K. Jonynas was eventually praised and set the style for later Lithuanian American churches. Lithuanian Mass is still celebrated there and everything tells of the longing for their lost homeland. The tricolor is always waving and patriotic historical mosaics, such as "The coronation of King Mindaugas" adorn the walls. External Bas-reliefs represent the sites of Lithuanian Maryan visions and internal stained glass windows show the religiously important Lithuanian towns.

Corronation of Mindaugas mosaic on the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (B.V.M.) church exterior. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

The district itself, however, is now populated by blacks who started moving in in the 1970s displacing the Lithuanians. Some buildings are now abandoned, but in Lithuanian Plaza Avenue (named so in 1970) you may still see crumbling Lithuania-inspired tricolor and Vytis decor. The last Lithuanian restaurants have been closed in ~2007. There was Antano Kampas, for example, its premises now searching for a new tenant. Several years old maps still have "Gintaras Club" marked. Even this was already only a shade of the original community which had many businesses and cultural institutions in extensive area between 63rd st., 73rd st., Western Avenue and California Avenue.

Lithuanian architectural details in Lithuanian Plaza Road. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

This district also boasts a St. Casimir Convent that keeps exceptional relations with Lithuania. A neighboring street is called "Honorary Maria Kaupas road" after the 1880-born Lithuanian woman who established the convent. The Casimir sisters were also instrumental in building a large Holy Cross hospital nearby. At 2711 W 71st St, there is a Lithuanian senior club.

West of the Marquette park there is other important Lithuanian heritage. Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture established in 1966 is the largest such institution outside Lithuania (South Pulaski Rd. 6500). The "Draugas" ("Friend") publishing house building is home to the oldest continuously published Lithuanian language newspaper (first edition in 1909). Aimed at Lithuanian Americans it used to be daily until 2011 and now is issued three times a week with circulation halved since 1960s. Unlike non-Lithuanian-owned "Čikagos Aidas" ("Echo of Chicago") "Draugas" publishes solely its own material on its website.

Entrance to Balzekas Museum. The local road is named Honorary Stanley Balzekas Road. Google Street View.

Another massive key Lithuanian hub in Chicago is Lithuanian Jesuit Youth Center (5620 S Claremont Avenue, ~3 km north of the Marquette Park). This is yet another Cold War-era institution (built 1958) funded by Lithuanian diaspora desperately trying to help their culture survive for the generations to come (even as a minority). Lithuania-themed activities/education for children and teenagers had been its goal. The massive building complex uses a patriotic architecture with a large modernized Vytis forming its façade Given the Catholic nature of the institution there is also a chapel and a traditional wooden cross. While Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union and religion was persecuted there Lithuanian Jesuit province was effectively based here in Chicago.

The Lithuanian Jesuit Youth Center houses a multitude of other Lithuanian institutions, amalgamated in 1981 to form the Lithuanian Research and Studies Center, which is the largest Lithuanian scholarly organization outside of Lithuania. It includes the World Lithuanian Archives and numerous other related archives (musicology, medicine, photo, audio-visual, fine art), which are the best repository of Lithuanian American works but also include works by other Lithuanians. The scholarly wing (responsible for studies, education and publishing) consists of the Institute of Lithuanian studies, Center for the Study of Genocide in Lithuania and Lithuanian Institute of Education. Furthermore, the Lithuanian Research and Studies Center owns three museums: Ramovėnai Lithuanian Military Museum, Lithuanian Museum and the Lithuanian Museum of Medicine.

The main entrance of the Lithuanian Youth center with Lithuanian coat of arms Vytis. Google Street View.

While today the Lithuanian nation is predominantly Catholic prior to World War 2 up to 15% of ethnic Lithuanians were Lutheran. These people hailed from Lithuania Minor region of what was then Germany. Tragically they were wiped off almost completely by the Soviets in the Genocide of Lithuania Minor (1944-1949). Two Lithuanian Lutheran communities of the 1910s, however, exist in Chicago centered around their modest churches not too far from the Marquette Park. On a walking distance north of the park stands a former historic Lithuanian Lutheran church, now sold to a Black-dominated Heart Church Ministries church. The more modern Zion Lithuanian Lutheran church further away is still open, as is the Tėviškė (Homeland) Lithuanian church at 5129 Wolf Road, Western Springs.

While small a Zion Lithuanian Lutheran church (9000 Menard Avenue) shows that Lithuanian community in Chicagoland is large and colorful enough to even have a minority-within-minority. Google Street View.

Pilsen Lithuanian heritage

Back in the 1920s, Chicago had 11 Lithuanian Catholic parishes, each of them centering a Lithuanian community. One of the Chicago districts - Pilsen (north of Bridgeport) - even had two Lithuanian churches at once.

The church of Providence of God (1927) is the closest Lithuanian church to downtown (since the 1960s, the district population was replaced by Hispanics and the Mass is now celebrated in English and Spanish). It has been founded by St. George parishioners from Bridgeport.

Providence of God church no longer dominates the panorama as much after the highways were constructed. Google Street View.

Pilsen's 2nd Lithuanian church was a more modest Our Lady of Vilna church (2327 W 23rd Place), now closed. The two-floored residential-like building used to host the church in the main floor and a parish school above it. The parish name now remains only in the relocated St Paul-Our Lady of Vilna school (closed 2013). Chicago Sun Times reported an interesting story in 2013 of scrapyard worker noticing Lithuanian inscription on a bell and the diocese requiring it. It turns out this bell has disappeared from Our Lady of Vilna site after closure; it will now call the residents of Tinley Park suburb to prayer, thus itself completing a migration that so many did before: from the inner city to suburbs and from ethnic culture to "United American" culture. The inscription on the bell reads (reminding that Lithuania of 1900s-1918s was still under the rule of Russian Empire and giving reasons why Lithuanians migrated to Chicago so eagerly): "Bell, little bell, sorrowfully ring and proclaim the Miraculous Madonna of the Gate of Dawn in Lithuania, where our enemies suppress us. Our oppressed fellow countrymen are comforted. Call us to prayer, to the Church, in her name, so that we may feel a part of God’s flock. Call us three times daily, without fail, and the deceased lead with your sound. From this day forward, speak to the living, and accompany the dead to the cemetery".

Brighton Park and Cicero Lithuanian heritage

Brighton Park district west of former stockyards is now also largely Hispanic but its modernist Lithuanian Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (built in 1964, 2745 W. 44th St.) still offers Lithuanian Mass. The parish dates to 1914 but like some other churches, this one was rebuilt post-WW2 to accommodate a major influx of Lithuanian refugees.

Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary includes secular institutions as well. Google Street View.

Brighton Park also had a Darius-Girėnas American Legion post 271, comprised mostly of ethnic Lithuanians. The post has sold its rather large building (corner of W 44th and S Western Ave) that once hosted many Lithuanian events and now meets at various locations. The post's former building is used as the "Way church".

On the W 43rd (near S Western Ave) stands a small building belonging to the Lithuanian Rifleman Union (Šaulių sąjunga). This patriotic paramilitary organization used to be especially important in interwar Lithuania and then banned by Soviets (its members persecuted or killed). Like was the case with many such organizations, the survivors who fled Lithuania continued its existence in the USA. After independence Rifleman Union was reestablished in Lithuania as well but it didn't reach the pre-war glory.

Lithuanian Rifleman Union building at Brighton Park, covered in the Cross of Jogaila and Columns of Gediminas patriotic symbols. Google Street View.

Further west from the downtown Cicero has a massive St. Anthony Lithuanian church and school. Lithuanian, English and Spanish mas is now offered and only the US flag waves.

Romance Revival St. Anthony church in Cicero is among the more impressive Lithuanian churches in America. Massive parish school and other buildings are behind. Google Street View.

Historic St. Anthony parish school, boasting a massive old Lithuanian plaque, is an example of how old and well entrenched the Lithuanian community of Chicago is. Google Street View.

Chicago far southside Lithuanian heritage

The Chicago district further south are currently nearly completely inhabited by Blacks. There have been Lithuanian districts there but they collapsed even earlier (most churches closed in 1985-1990 when most Lithuanians left).

South Chicago area is only 1,92% White. Its small single-floored St. Joseph Lithuanian church (8801 S Saginaw) has been closed in 1986, now used as part of McKinley public school (itself built in 1953 as parish school). A former priest's house stands next, it is older and more interesting; the priest used to have an animal sanctuary between the buildings.

Former St. Joseph Lithuanian church is an example of the south Chicago's small Lithuanian parishes. Google Street View.

St. Casimir Lithuanian church of Chicago Heights (283 E 14th Street) suffered a similar fate (closed 1987). It looks like a century-old residential. Its two floors used to house a school as well as a church and just like on Holy Cross the former fashion to inscribe institution names on stone led to the survival of its Lithuanian name. Empty lots are now all around the building.

All Saints Lithuanian church in Roseland (0,42% White district today) with art nouveau inspired nice semi-open metal tower has been sold to the Baptists in 1989 (a more popular faith among Blacks than Catholicism). The survival of the church still is not easy at it has been robbed numerous times recently.

All Saints Lithuanian church in Roseland. The tower looks similar to the Nativity BVM church in Marquette Park. All Saints was designed by Stasys Kudokas, an architect that took part in shaping interwar Kaunas modernism before taking refuge in America. Google Street view.

The only area's Lithuanian church to remain in Catholic use is St. Peter and Paul church in West Pullman (12433 S Halsted St). The building modernist with some gothic inspirations (built 1959). The parish has been established in 1913 and celebrated centenary in 2013 but it has nothing to do with Lithuanians today. West Pullman is only 0,56% White and the Lithuanian share is now negligible. Pullman was once famous for its world-class factory of railway carriages. Modern Far South Chicago, however differs from that of 1900-1915 (when most Lithuanian parishes were established) like day and night. The industry collapsed ~1970, the ethnic groups are also all different.

Lithuanian cemeteries in southern Chicago

Deceased Lithuanians used to be buried in Lithuanian cemeteries since well before World War 1. St. Casimir Catholic Cemetery was established in 1903 at the extreme south of Chicago. The entrance plaque "Lithuanian Cemetery" was removed in 1997. This is not the first such move - in 1965 Cardinal Cody removed the word "Lithuanian" from the cemetery's official name, leading to mass demonstrations of post-war Lithuanian refugees. This is one of many similar episodes in the history of Lithuanian Chicagoans. E.g. in 1972 local Lithuanians chartered a plane to Rome in order to protest in St. Peter square against the presenting of first Holy Communion to Lithuanian children in the English language.

Latin Americans (today the largest Catholic community of Chicago) now have joined Lithuanians in the St. Casimir Cemetery rows. Yet the massive Lithuanian gravestones, built throughout eight previous decades, far outflank small American plaques. It seems that entire major city is buried here and everywhere the surnames are Lithuanian, some of them shortened or spelled in English. Among those interred is the Lithuanian general Povilas Plechavičius who moved to the USA as a refugee in 1949. There is a monument to Romas Kalanta who self- immolated in Kaunas to protest against the Soviet occupation. It was built the same year in 1972 by sculptor Ramojus Mazoliauskas.

Romas Kalanta monument in the St. Casimir cemetery. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Another Lithuanian cemetery is next to a small forest outside the official borders of Chicago. This is the multi-denominational Lithuanian National Cemetery and the word "Lithuanian" remains in the official name. It was established in 1911 when a local priest refused to bury Lithuanians who did not actively participated in Lithuanian communities in the St. Casimir Cemetery. There are some 2500 graves. Among those buried here is the 1925-1926 President of Lithuania Kazys Grinius (the remains were repatriated in 1994 but the gravestone remains). Art deco buildings are pretty.

Art deco pavillion at the Lithuanian National Cemetery. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Lemont and the modern Lithuanian community

Further southwest lies the modern heart of the Chicago Lithuanian community. After the disintegration of Marquette Park there are no longer any district where Lithuanians would make more than a few percent of the population. But in the automobile-loving USA driving 10 or 20 km is no obstacle. In 1987 the "Lithuanian World Center" was opened in Lemont suburb. Various events such as concerts and Chicago Lithuanian Basketball League matches are held there (basketball is the Lithuania's national sport and the Chicago League was established in 2003; its ~15 teams play using the FIBA rather than NBA rules). There are sport, event halls, schools, Blessed J. Matulaitis Catholic Mission. To the southwest of Chicago stands the Grand Duke Lithuanian cuisine restaurant which replaced those closed in Marquette Park and Bridgeport.

Lithuanian-related sites in northern Chicago

While most immigrants from Lithuania have settled in the less fancy southern Chicago, the northern Chicago once also had a Lithuanian church, dedicated to St. Michael (since demolished). The area also has Telshe yeshiva - a Jewish religious school named after the Lithuanian town of Telšiai. The history of the name is such: the yeshiva was established by the identically named Telshe yeshiva of Cleveland, which was in turn established by the teachers of the original Telšiai yeshiva after it was closed down by the Soviet occupational force.

A larger Lithuanian community exists in the suburb of Waukegan. As the suburb is far from Chicago center, it is described in a separate article.

Maps of Chicago Lithuanian heritage

Map of the Lithuanian heritage in entire Chicagoland.

Map of the Lithuanian heritage in Southside Chicago.

Map of the Lithuanian heritage in Marquette Park (Chicago Lawn, Lithuania Plaza) area of Chicago.

Map of the Lithuanian heritage in Bridgeport area of Chicago.

Click to learn more about Lithuania: Illinois, USA Leave a comment
Comments (126) Trackbacks (0)
  1. “Draugas” yra lietuviu nuosavybe, pelno nesiekiantis laikrastis, ir nekonkuruoja su “Cikagos Aidu”. “Draugas” turi interneto svetaine – , Minetas “Aidas” yra rusu bendroves “Ethnic-Media” nuosavybe, kuri leidzia laikrascius rusu kalba, ir islaikomas prekybininku apmokamais skelbimais. Negalima traktuoti “Cikagos Aido” kaip lietuviu spauda.


  3. Hello,

    My name is David Lisker, I am artistic director and violinist at the Lisker Music Foundation (non profit organization based in Northbrook, IL). One of the many ways we aim to support the music scene in Chicago is by presenting world class concerts in the Chicagoland. We have one such concert scheduled for February 28 at the Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston. The concert will feature a fantastic Lithuanian pianist Andrius Zlabys. He has performed all over the world, graduated from the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, and has been nominated for a Grammy for a recording he made with Gidon Kremer. I would really love to spread the word among the rich Lithuanian community, I was hoping you might be able to help me. If you have some interest in this, I would love to discuss it further.

    thank you so much and Happy New Year!

  4. Graziai padaryta.

    Good job. However it should be noted that Our Lady of Vilna Church has not been demolished . It was closed and sold to the Chicago Public School system. It is currently again for sale. The original, very simple, leaded glass windows were given to the Balzekas Museum. The colored glass modern altar backdrops by Adolfas Valeska were moved to the Lithuanian Mission (Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis Mission) some years ago. Again it has not beed demolished yet. What has been demolished is St. George’s in Bridgeport and St. Michael’s in the Bucktown neighborhood (near north) in Chicago.

    Also check out the new English language paper Draugas News


    Saulius K

    • Thank you for the information. I haven’t found the Our Lady of Vilna church (I have not been to the place myself when I visited Chicago, just checked there via Google Street View) so I assumed it has been destroyed (as the address of Our Lady of Vilna I found online is now occupied by some private home, but probably that address is incorrect). Could you give me the true address so I could check it on the Street View? Also, where exactly was the St. Michael’s located?

      • ihave some pictures of the churches. I was going to do a book but that fell through. As well as the book on my grandmother Baroness Kazis Zlatarinskas. If you ar einterested I can send you some pictures.


        • Thank you, I have contacted you by e-mail.

        • i have been looking for photos or copies of ptyos of St georges catholic church on 33 st and Iithuanica st. I am a 76 year old Polish man living in Texas and went to school and church there in the late 40’s and early 50’s. It made me cry to hear about the school, rectory and church being demolished.I went to Armour in my first 4 years then St George. I lived on 33 rd st.between Halsted and Lithuanica. Living on the 3rd floor the tower clock was visible to me all the time.I was happy to hear the organ ,alter and some other parts of the church were sent back to where they were made. Lithuania. All I have been able to see is renderings of the church. I would like to have a picture of the church since I’m relocating to the Philippines and am making a scrap book of my youth. thank you

      • I attended Our Lady of Vilna in the 1950s. I don’t know the exact address, but it’s on W 23rd Pl, between Western and Oakley. Here’s the Google street view:,-87.68382,3a,75y,207.09h,95.49t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sY6IJfP77n5K93xJ6KHUoaQ!2e0

        • I see, thank you. I thought this building used to serve as the parish school, but so the same building used to serve as the church as well?

          • In the 50s, Our Lady of Vilna Church was on the main floor, the school on the upper floor, and the church hall in the basement. The church hall was used for school programs (there was a stage), bingo, and at one point the school kids were allowed to roller skate in the church hall one evening a week. Good memories!

        • In case anyone is interested, here are a couple of 1950s class photos from Our Lady of Vilna School: and


      • I lived across the street from St. Michael’s and went to St. Michael’s until I married.

        The address was 1644 Wabansia Ave., Chicago, IL

        I truly miss this Lithuanian parish that was so much of my life.

    • Saulius,

      Thank you for the Draugas update. Would love to talk to you. It has been a long time.

      Thank you,

      • Jerry you can contact me at my law office at 150 S. Wacker Dr. Suite 1025
        Chicago IL 60606 312 346 5275; cell 708 997 1861. e-mail

        Look forward to hearing from you and recall the days at St. Anthony

        best regards


  5. Sveiki, norėjau paklausti ar šiuos tekstus ir nuotraukas galima būtų panaudoti svetainėje, skirtoje Čikagos lietuvių katalikų sielovadai ir paveldui aprašyti? Svetainė dar tik ruošiama:


    • Laba diena,

      Informaciją, esančiame šiame straipsnyje, ar pavienes nuotraukas galite naudoti, paminėję šaltinį.

      Tačiau pageidautume, kad nenukopijuotumėte tiesiog viso ar žymios dalies teksto/nuotraukų – tokiu atveju geriausiai tiesiog dėkite nuorodą į šį puslapį (savo ruožtu, kai jūsų puslapyje bus daugiau unikalios informacijos, galėsime į jį įdėti nuorodą iš šio straipsnio).

      Be kita ko, šis tekstas ateityje dar bus atnaujinamas: pridedamos likusių bažnyčių, dar kelių lietuviškų vietų nuotraukos, papildoma informacija. Nukopijavus viską į kitą vietą internete ilgainiui atsirastų dvi skirtingos teksto versijos.

      Jeigu jūs turite papildomos informacijos šia tema ar matote tekste klaidų, taip pat galite paminėti ir tekstas bus pakoreguotas (pavyzdžiui, diskusijoje po šiuo straipsniu iškeltas klausimas, ar buv. Aušros vartų / Our Lady of Vilna bažnyčia yra nugriauta, o jeigu nėra nugriauta, tai kur tiksliai ji realiai stovi?).

    • Dėkui, informacijos keista, bet labai nedaug, matomai dauguma jos yra spaudos archyve. Geriausias šaltinis kokį radau yra:

      Amerikos lietuvių katalikų metraštis 1916 m.

      • Dėkui už įdomią nuorodą. Apie Čikagos Aušros Vartų bažnyčią ten neradau informacijos (tik apie Niujorko to paties pavadinimo bažnyčią), bet yra kitų įdomių senų nuotraukų ir informacijos.

  6. Gerbemieji

    Ar kas renka žinias apie lietuvius Venezueloj ir Colombijoj?

    Po II Pasulinio Karo, nuo 1947 daug lietuvių emigravo į tuos kraštus.

    Aš ten užaugau, 16 metų gyvenau. Dabar USA.

    Dėkui už jūsų dėmėsi.

    Peter (Rimantas) Ramanauskas

    • Sveiki, išties visos žinios apie lietuvišką paveldą užsienyje domina ir skelbiamos šioje svetainėje. Kol kas Kolumbijos ir Venesuelos bendruomenės paminėtos bendrame straipsnyje apie Lotynų Ameriką, o turint daugiau informacijos planuoju parašyti ir atskirus straipsnius.

      Tiesa, šitas tinklapis skirtas ne pačioms bendruomenėms, o lietuvių paveldui (bažnyčioms, kapinėms, atminimo lentoms, muziejams, paminklams, žymių žmonių gyvenamosioms vietoms, Lietuvos ar lietuvių garbei pavadintoms vietoms ir t.t.). Taigi, jei tokių “lietuviškų” vietų Venesueloje ar Kolumbijoje žinote – pasidalinkite informacija, ji bus patalpinta šioje svetainėje.

  7. Grazus ir geras darbas.
    Butu gerai si website isplesti kaip istorini dokumenta visos Lietuviu Amarikoje plotme.
    Nepastebejau aprasymo Lituanistikos studiju ir tyrimo centro.

    • Dėkui už pastebėtą trūkumą, dabar informaciją apie Lituanistikos studijų ir tyrimų centrą parašiau į straipsnį po Jėzuitų jaunimo centru.

      Informacija apie daugumos kitų JAV valstijų, o taip pat Ontarijo, Argentinos, Brazilijos, Urugvajaus lietuvių paveldą jau yra svetainėje. Šalių sąrašas yra juostoje virš straipsnio, arba dešinėje nuo straipsnio – paspaudus ant šalies ar valstijos pavadinimo pasirodo straipsnis apie tos šalies ar valstijos lietuvišką paveldą.

  8. Gerbiamas p. Žemaiti,
    Bravo už detališką aprašymą apie lietuvių istorinius centrus Čikagoje.
    Noriu patikslinti keletą terminų: St. Casimir “nunnery” – turėtų būt pavadinta St. Casimir Convent. (nunnery yra labai senoviskas žodis ir daugiau nebevartojamas įvardinti vienuolyną. Moteriškas vienuolynas vadinasi Convent o vyriškas vienuolynas vadinasi Monastery.)

    Brighton Park – bažnyčia agliškai vadinasi – Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    Marquette Park -bažnyčia agliškai vadinasi – Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (B.V.M.) – ne “Church of the Virgin Mary birth”

    Lemont – Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis Mission (Palaiminto Jurgio Matulaičio misija), established in 1990 – nevadinamas “chapel” bet yra misija.

    Tuo pačiu – angliškai šv, Mišios visada rašoma su didžjiają raide “Mass”.

  9. Puikus darbas, aciu. Tiesa, yra klaideliu, kai kurios jau pataisytos. Noreciau, kad pataisytume amerikiecio aki reziancia, daznai pasikartojancia, raidziavimo klaida “cemetary” istaisytumete i “cemetery”. Sekmes Jusu tolimesniame darbe.

  10. Hi,
    Your site is very informative but as a lifelong American-Lithuanian resident of Bridgeport, still live on Lituanica Avenue. I did notice a few items that may be incorrect concerning the neighborhood. First, there is no cross on the grounds where St. George once stood. The cross from the front of the church as well as the madonna from the bell tower were relocated to the grounds of All Saints-St. Anthony Church on 28th and South Wallace by the parish’s last pastor, Rev. Richard Dodaro when he was transfered there at our closing in 1990. Second, I don’t know if S. Darius and S. Girėnas were actually residents of Bridgeport. My understanding is that South Auburn Avenue was changed to South Lituanica Avenue in their memory and honor as they left from St. George’s Church after Mass for Midway Airport to begin their journey. Lastly, St. George Church was established in 1892 accross the street from where the final building stood. It was the first and oldest church established by Lithuanians west of the Appalachian Mountains. The Gothic building to my understanding was completed in 1902 not 1909. Again, not trying to underscore your work, you’ve done a wonderful job, but as a resident of Bridgeport I’m a little protective of its history and that it is recorded as correctly as possible.

    In regards to Providence of God it is important to note that it was built by the some of the parishioners of St. George as the Lithuanian community grew in the area and branched out to its Pilsen neighbor. Establishment of the church there made Mass more accessible for the area’s Lithuanian residents.

    • Thank you for your comment. I have now edited the article.

      To clarify:
      By “Only a cross left on the Open Street Map” I meant the Open Street Map program (one of the more popular online map systems) rather than on-location. As this may have been confused I removed it.

      I ahve edited the Bridheport info accrodingly, moreover added info on former St. George school. Asfor Darius and Girėnas, do you now where they have lived, or perhaps some other famous Lithuanians? As it may be impossible to put on memorial plaques on-location, Global True Lithuania may serve as a kind of “virtual memorial plaque” whereby I could write former addresses of now-deceased famous Lithuanians to this article and articles on other locations.

    • Was there a Lithuanian cultural center on Archer Avenue at Ashland Avenue ?

  11. Steponas (Stephen) Darius is listed in the 1920 census at 749 W 33rd Street, which was the Bridgeport neighborhood. His surname was actually Darašius but he changed it after WWI.
    Stasys Girenas (Girskis) — I’m still looking for.

    • Thank you. By googling the address you gave me I also now found this “Draugas” article which gives some further information on the pilots’ lifes in America. There are only images of Darius’s relatives homes however. I have tried to look for the Darius’s home on Google Street View, however it does not have that particular address. I wonder if that building still stands?

  12. You are mistaken in identfying All Saints church in Roseland as the work of architect Mulokas. All Saints church was designed by Stasys Kudokas. You do not mention a Lithuanian church in East St. Louis, Il – Immaculate Conception, built in 1956, which was designed by Jonas Mulokas.

  13. Hi, I am anticipating visiting Lithuania this summer. Can anyone point me to a local-to-Chicago Lithuanian language school for adults? Thanks! Phil Vitkus

  14. Atleiskite, gal ne čia kreipiuosi. Tačiau norėčiau paprašyti pagelbos surasti ka nors iš Praninsku šeimos gyvenusiu Lietuvoje Bučiunu kaime ir išvykusiu karo metais į USA Mano močiutė tiesiog norėjo žinoti ar Kas nors yra iš jos brolio šeimos Chicagoje, nes visi ryšiai buvo nutruke po karo.. Močiutės vardas Aleksandra ir ji buvo ištekėjusi už Bagdanskio Prano. Šiuo metu Mano močiutė mirus, tačiau būtu malonu žinoti ko ji taip ilgai laukė.

    Dėkingas už betkokia pagalba.

  15. I am of Lithuanian descent because my mother was Nellie Zoper whose family lived in Cicero in the 1940s. I was given up for adoption in Laredo, Texas in 1943 and have no information about that side of my family. I had searched online and looked at some Lithuanian books but could not find any reference to that surname. ‘
    I just found a reference to Anna Kulp nee Zoper who died in 2006. She was Nellie’s sister and my aunt.
    Where could I get some help to find out more information about the Zoper family?


  16. The info I found:
    Anna Kulp, nee Zoper, age 98, resident of Westmont for over 31 years, beloved wife of the late Walter A. Kulp; loving mother of Jim (Mary) Kulp and Pat (late Nick) Andrewnovitz; devoted sister of Frances (late Sidney) Goodwin, the late Angie (late John) Andrulis, Della Marcinkus, Mary (late Frank) Sidlauskas and Nellie Zoper; fond grandmother of James and Mark Kulp; aunt of six nieces and nephews. Funeral Monday 9 a.m. from Toon Funeral Home, 4920 Main St., Downers Grove, IL 60515, going to Holy Trinity Catholic Church for Mass of the Resurrection 9:30 a.m. Interment St. Casimir Catholic Cemetery. Visitation Sunday 3 to 9 p.m. For info, or 630-968-0408.
    1908 – 2006

    • Maybe some Chicago Lithuanians will answer here.

      However, you may also try writing directly to the Chicago Lithuanian institutions such as Balzekas museum (and others specified in this website) or the Cicero St. Anthony parish as maybe the workers there will know this family.

  17. Labai įdomi info, ačiū autoriui, tik kodėl nėra nieko apie Floridos lietuvių paveldą ? Juk ten gan nemažai yra, ypač St. Pete.

    • Dėkui. Informacija apie Floridos paveldą bus įdėta (straipsnis jau iš dalies parašytas). Nesant galimybės viską parašyti / sudėti iš karto svetainė plečiama po truputį, maždaug kas porą savaičių – mėnesį įdedama po straipsnį (apie tai pranešama Facebook paskyroje). Tarp numatomų ateityje straipsnių, be Floridos – Viskonsinas, Pensilvanijos šiaurinis anglies regionas, LDK pilys Ukrainoje, išsamesnė informacija apie Australiją, Karaliaučiaus sritis ir kt.

  18. Labai išsamus ir įdomus straipsnis. Perskaičiau atydžiai Čikagos skyrių ir peržvelgiau kitas dalis. Mano tėvelis (dailininkas Juozas Pautienius) lankydvo rytiną pakrašty (circa 1956-1965) su savo dailes parodom, tai daugel parapiją vardus prisimenu iš jo laiškų. Nepaprastai įdomu buvo pamatyt tas parapijas, nes jo parodos vykdavo parapijų salėse. Buvo labai liūdna išgirsti kai atėjo žinia apie Šenedoriaus Šv. Jurgio parapijos uždarymą ir nugriovimą. Mes su vyru ten lankėmės 1974 metuose ir padaryme ilgus interview ant video su Prel. Karalium ir klebonu Kun Neverausku, taipogi su Frackvillej gyvenančiu mano giminaičiiu jau tada senuku Kun. Čėsna. Daug istorinės medžiagos yra surinkta. Maža dalis yra patalpinta ant youtube. Galima rasti ant vyro John Boguta youtube svetaines – ziur. Hadroid. Įdomu kas privedė jus prie šio svarbais ir vertingo darbo – dokumentacija Lietuviškų parapijų ir vietovių Amerikoje? su geraiusias linkėjimais -Teresė Pautieniūte Bogutienė.

    • Dėkui, džiugu, kad jums įdomu. Imtis darbo paskatino informacijos apie lietuviškas vietas užsienyje trūkumas, palyginus su, tarkime, žydišku, lenkišku, ar kitų tautų paveldu užsienyje.

  19. I have to disagree with you strongly in the fact that the Lithuanians in Chicago are on the decline. The lithuanian world center in lemont is huge and hosts a lithuanian church, basketball league, lithuanian school with 600 students and even an offshoot of the delicious lithuanian restaurant kunigaiksciai in summit. Go to the lithuanian world center and tell me that Lithuanians are on the decline in Chicago.

    • You are correct. However, I have not claimed that there is no more Lituanity in Chicago area. What I meant was rather that it has declined from its peak when there were ~14 Lithuanian churches, most of them with schools and other institutions, also surrouding districts had many other Lithuanian-owned businesses and some districts were actually predominantly Lithuanian (Lithuanian Plaza area at east Marquette Park).

  20. Mr. Zemaitis.

    Thank You for all of your terrific work on this article. I grew up in and immediately west of Marquette Park all of my life, now residing in Northbrook and in the backyard of Chicago Executive Airport (formerly Pal-Waukee Airport) where Darius and Girenas bought their beloved Lituanica. They moved the airplane to the Clearing industrial district adjacent to Midway Airport where they retrofitted the aircraft with extended wings and fuel tanks. Darius gave flying lessons and reportedly flew air mail as far as Mackinac Island from Pal-Waukee and they were also the first to carry air mail transatlantically on their Lituanica. My father, Vyto Uznys and I were/are both private pilots and both flew out of Midway for a time and know a bit about this history. This past April/May I visited Lithuania for the first time and made a point of visiting the Military Museum in Kaunas where the Lituanica wreckage and flight artifacts are on display. The Lituanica Aircraft License lists 3239 South Halstead as its registered address (I have a number of pictures of this display if you are interested). Darius wore his Pal-Waukee cap (on display) on their ill fated journey as well. Also Girenas also went by the name “Girch” or “Gerch”. As an anecdotal fact, I recall as a small child, standing in front of the DG monument in Marquette Park and having Senator Charles Percy shake my little hand as my father flew his plane over the monument and dropped roses out his airplane window during one of their annual memorial programs. To enhance your article, you should mention the Darius Girenas American Legion Post 271 that was located in Brighton Park at 44th and Western. Reportedly this post was once the largest in the state of Illinois, composed almost completely of patriotic Lithuanian Americans from Chicago. The building was very large and hosted scores of Lithuanian programs, banquets and dinner dances. My parents celebrated many New Years Eve’s there with their friends. The post has now been sold to a hispanic group as so many of the supportive old timers are now gone. The post is now just a fledgling group meeting at other host post locations on the southwest side but still supportive of veterans causes and I’m still a member of the post.

    Additionally, there was another Lithuanian newspaper published out of Bridgeport called “Sandara”. I was a child and recall my parents receiving the paper by mail at least a couple times per week. I also recall watching the typesetter at work in the Bridgeport office on visits there with my father who was a friend of the editor, Mykolas Vaidyla who is also buried in the Lithuanian National Cemetery.

    Finally, I am trying to research my grandparents roots a bit further in Bridgport. They had my Mom in 1928 and baptized her in St. George’s church just down the street from where they lived and also nearby where the Sandara newspaper office was based. My grandparents shortly thereafter moved back to Lithuania and the plot thickens after that, however I’m interested to learn more about the sentiments of the Bridgeport Lithuanians around the time of 1928 and 1929. I know it was during prohibition, boot legging, Al Capone, Wall Street/pre-Depression and economic collapse times. It seems my grandparents traded all of this for German/Russian occupation in Lithuania just 15 years later. Any help or advice you may offer would be appreciated. I want to write a book about my grandparents (and Mom’s) life that I think would also be movie-worthy but also want to get my facts straight. I have been referred to the Balzekas museum but am also told that involvement with them could be a costly affair. Please advice your thoughts . . . your work above has provided a few more pieces ro my puzzle but I have many, many more left to discover.

    Best and Aciu!
    Linda Uznys

    • Thank you for the addition. I have added the American legion post to the Chicago article now.

      As for the research, it depends on what you are searching for. If you search for particular details of your grandparents (and possibly their parents, circumstances of their death, etc.), you may also use the archives in Republic of Lithuania. Knowing names and more detauils, additional details could be found there. We generally provide a service of contacting archives, if needed.

    • Look into Lithuanian Geneological Society on Facebook

  21. Very interesting and informative article.

    The one picture, though, that you displayed and said that it was the home of the Darius-Girenas American Legion Post is in error.

    I am a 40 year member of the post, and presently the post Commander.

    Our first home was at 4416-18 S. Western Ave, in Chicago.

    We sold the building around 10 years ago.

    We then met at the William McKinley post at 35th & Damen for a few years.

    Past post commander Al Bartkus had a tavern at 69th & Maplewood in Marquette Park. He offered his place of business for us to use for our meeting night. We accepted his offer and moved there. Al Bartkus died in an automobile accident this past November and his son sold the building.

    We now meet at a tavern/grove near the Lithuanian National Cemetery, in Justice.

    Just for the record and to get to the point, the building in the picture is not, and never was a Darius-Girenas American Legion post.

    Again, great web site, and I’m not complaining about anything, but I just wanted to set the record straight.

    I have no idea of where this featured building is.

  22. Regarding the questions about Our Lady of Vilna school:

    I attended Our Lady of Vilna school through 2nd grade.

    We moved to the Midway Airport area in the summer of 1953.

    I lived a 1/2 block away at the time and my grandparents owned a 2 flat across the street from the school. They also owned the largest tavern in the neighborhood just east of Oakley Ave, on 23rd place.

    Our Lady of Vilna school closed in 1988 and merged with Saint Paul school at 2127 W. 22nd Place. That school then became known as Our Lady of Vilna-Saint Paul Grammar School. This school recently closed it doors for good. They were down to just 98 students and faced crushing debt.

    The old Our Lady of Vilna school was bought by the Chicago Board of Education and made into a feeder school.

    I couldn’t find the exact address of the original Our Lady of Vilna school, but they have a nun’s home still on the property, and that address is 2337 W. 23rd Place.

    Directly east of the nun’s home is a parking lot. Directly east of the parking lot is the old parsonage. The priest’s home. And finally directly east of that building is the building that was once Our Lady of Vilna. That’s the best I can do for now.

  23. Again, just for the record, the Draugus printing plant and main offices were directly east of Our Lady of Vilna school (across the alley), on the Southwest corner of 23rd Place and Oakley at one time. My fondest memory of those days was when a truck would come by once a week and drop off giant rolls of paper for the presses right on the sidewalk, in front of the Draugus plant. They were piled high and after school we would climb them until somebody came out of the office and shooed us off.

    Ah, the good old days.

  24. Once again, for the record, and my memory is a bit fuzzy on this, but maybe not, the Darius-Girenas American Legion Post 271 was formed in 1932 as the Major William J. Harris American Legion Post 271. Darius and Girenas were post members in that, then at the time, primarily Lithuanian-American post. Upon the deaths of Darius and Girenas, the post members immediately changed the name of the post to the Darius-Girenas American Legion Post 271. This change came about in 1933. There is sometimes confusion when we celebrate an important post anniversary because post 271 in actuality was founded in 1932, but became the Darius-Girenas post in 1933. Our post celebrates the 1933 date.

    • Thank you for your extensive comments. The information about American Legion building ha snow been corrected and the previous image removed.

  25. Thank you for compiling so much information in one location. The name of the Catholic church in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago is PROVIDENCE OF GOD, not Divine Providence, although the meaning is the same! The name is easily verified online on the roster of Catholic parishes in Chicago. I was a 1965 graduate of Providence of God School. I remember that the Lithuanian language was taught in my early grade classrooms, but was no longer taught when the demographic change came in the middle to late 1950s.

  26. Great Article. Thanks for the info. Does anyone know where I can find a blank Illinois 45 form to fill out?

  27. As an American born Lithuanian from Bridgeport, your article brings back many memories for me. Thanks for utilizing my pictures of St. George Parish. The rectory pictured is the first rectory built and was later replaced with a modern building, which was torn down at the same time the church was demolished. I used to work in the rectory on weekends or whenever they needed assistance. It would be great if more Bridgeporters could collaborate and add more articles and insights to the St. George portion of this article. Would anyone happen to know what happened to the church main altar? It was rumored that the altar and stations of the cross were shipped to Lithuania. Please let me know if you know anything about the whereabouts of the altar. In the meantime, keep up the great work!

    • I also grew up 2 blocks away from St Georges church in the 1940-1950 era.
      I read on the net that the alter,organ,windows and some other parts of the church were sent back to Lithuania where they were made.
      I’m making a scrap book on my younger days in bridgeport. I’m looking for photo’s of St George church and school where I attended during the 1950’s and Ramova show,as well as milda.If possible the old Saina kosher building where my mom bought lunch meat. Lerners , a&p, and the bakery east on Halsted around 32 or 33 rd street. Armour school is also one where I went during my early years and a photo would be appreciated.
      Since I’m going to another country and a trip to the old neighborhood would not be easy i want to be able to see my past.
      Another thing I’m looking for is a pic of the old WLS radio transmitter tower in Tinley Park.When I drove past the location some 20 or 30 years ago I was surprised to see the tower gone and replaced with a skinny tower.
      I lived in Tinley before moving to Texas and would pass the old tower all the time

  28. Thank you for the brilliant article and history lesson. I would never have known if you had not put all this on paper.

  29. Excellent article and comments! Any information on St. Michael located at 1644 W. Wabansia avenue? Perhaps a picture? The parish was started in 1904 and the building razed in 1970. There are residential buildings there now.

  30. Does anyone know the name of the church in Lithuania that received the altars and furnishings from St. George Church in Bridgeport? Having found in recent years my lost Pupininkas (Papnick) relatives in Lithuania, now found after almost 100 years, a visit with them would be far more meaningful if I could show them the altar from St. George Church where I worshiped in my youth. Please email me:

    • I don’t know exactly. Perhaps you should contact the archbishopric or former priests of the parish (if there are any left) who may have such information?

    • Try contacting the sisters of st Casimir now located in lemony with the sisters of st francis

    • Hello, Eric, I have been trying to find out the same information, for pretty much the same reason (a visit to these relics of the old church on a potential visit to Lithuania). Did you ever get an answer to your question, here or elsewhere?

  31. Hi, Thank you for the article. I went to St. George from 1965-1973. I will look and see if I have any pictures. –Rasa


  33. ČIKAGOS ŠIAURĖJE buvo dar viena lietuvių parapija ir jos paveldas tesiasi.
    Šv Baltramiejaus parapija buvo įkurta 1896 metais Waukegan Illinois.
    Jos parapijiečių palikuonys, antra ir trečiabangiai dabar meldžiasi
    išnomuotose patalpose, švenčia nepriklausomybę ir vaikus moko lietuvių kalbos.

  34. Atsitiktinai atsidariau si portaliuka. Ir…apgailestauju, kad tenka priminti visiems: Bostono lietuviu sv.Petro baznycios a.a.kunigas William Wolkovich-Valkavicius savo atostogu laiku ir savo pinigais apkeliavo visas lietuviskas parapijas JAV, surinko medziaga ir isspausdino trijuose tomuose ,,Lithuanian Religious Life in America”. Viskas , chronologine tvarka tik su ne itin meniskomis nuotraukomis, aprasyta sioje knygoje- parapiju, baznyciu, bendruomeniu istorija. Visi, kurie savaip aprasineja lietuviu baznyciu ar parapiju istorijas , be jokios abejones, pasinaudoja minetomis knygomis. Tik kunigas pats apkeliavo, o kiti- pasinaudojo, issiverte ir t.t. Tokia A.V. Skiudaites nuplagijuoja (90 proc.) knyga yra ,,Lietuviu pedsakai Amerikoje”. Beje, ji nuplagijavo ir J.Buteno/A.Kezio ,,Pensilvanijos angliakasiu Lietuva”, sukeitusi A su B. Taip del nesaziningu zmoniu, atsiranda nauji vardai, paminant, pamirstant tuos, kurie patys isvaiksciojo, tyre, aprase, isspausdinimui paaukojo didele dali savo lesu. Kadangi kunigas gyveno Rytineje pakranteje, isspausdinta Massachusetts valstijoje, o Lietuviu fondas paaukojo tik $500, tai labai paprasta ,,uzmirsti”, nes tik 1000 kopiju isspausdinta. Nutyleti, vadinasi pritarti klastotojams, plagijatoriams.

    • Dėkui už informaciją. Šiame tinklapyje surinkta informacija iš įvairių šaltinių, jų tarpe mano paties pokalbių su įvairių miestų lietuviais, interneto (tiek užsienio lietuvių, tiek ir ne lietuvių svetainių). Nė vienos įvardytų knygų nesu matęs ir skaitęs. Maži tiražai yra problema, tačiau net ir esant dideliam tiražui knygos ilgainiui tampa sunkiai prieinamomis, nes juk jų egzemplioriai guli konkrečiose vietose, tuo tarpu lietuviai pasklidę po visą pasaulį ir nebūtinai bus galimybė tą knygą paskaityti; kitais kartais net sužinoti, kad tam tikra tema yra parašyta knyga, tampa sudėtinga. Tuo tarpu kas parašyta internete, yra prieinama iš visur ir bet kada, todėl savo tyrinėjimus stengiuosi publikuoti būtent internete.

      Kadangi minėtų knygų nesu skaitęs, negaliu pakomentuoti, ar/kas įvardytose A. V. Skiudaitės knygose yra nuplagijuota iš knygos “Lithuanian Religious Life in America”. Jeigu be autoriaus Valkavičiaus leidimo sutampa ar beveik sutampa patys tekstai (tik išversti) ir/ar nuotraukos – tada tikrai nuplagijuota. Tačiau jei tiesiog skirtingi autoriai rašo ta pačia tema – tai nebūtinai; Amerikos lietuviai yra šimtatūkstantinė bendruomenė, ji ir jos paveldas tikrai verta, kad tai tyrinėtų ir apie tai rašytų daugiau nei vienas ar keli žmonės.

  35. Kun. Valkaviciaus archyvas ir minetos knygos yra persiustos i Kauna, Iseivijos instituta prie VDU, direktorius prof. Aleksandravicius. Teigdama , kad knyga yra nuplagijuota, turiu tam pagrindo, nes turiu tas knygas, be to tuo laikotarpiu, kai buvo kurpiama ,,Lietuviu pedsakai Amerikoje” priklausiau JAV LB kulturos tarybai. Buvo renkami pinigai knygos isleidimui. Tik po kiek laiko, kai pradejau tyrineti kas kur ir kaip, supratau kur suo pakastas. Na ir Jus, imates tyrineti JAV lietuviu istorija juk ne is galvos traukiate tas zinias, o is kitu autoriu surinktos medziagos. Daugeli dalyku galima atpazinti pagal zinomus tekstus. Todel is pagarbos autoriams reiketu nurodyti bent jau saltini. Beje kun. W.Valkaviciaus knyga netrukus turetu patekti i interneta per enciklopedini portala
    Be abejo, skelbti internete verta – juk naujausiu technologiju deka atsiveria placiai daugelis istoriju ir t.t. Tik, lieku savos nuomones – gerbkime kitu autoriu atliktus darbus ir minekime juos, kaip savo tyrinejimu pagrindus. Linkiu sekmes.

  36. My grandfather Felix Siratovich was one of the many butchers mentioned in this article and lived in Marquette Park area. They also attended the Villas Church until they passed away. I have never lived in Chicago, but once attended a Lithuanian festival there. Other than my grandmother’s cooking, it was the first time I had ever seen Lithuanian food. I don’t know much, but I have a FANTASTIC recipe for Lithuanian dumplings, my favorite food ever!!!!

  37. Thanks for sharing this information, I will also share it with friends. My East Central Illinois community of Westvile has a rich Lithuanian history.

  38. Drove my dad to the Lithuanian Alliance of America meetings and visiting with editor Michael Vaidyla (?) of the Sandra newspaper, sharing a few shots of whiskey in the printing plant.

    • Mr. Kapocius,

      I have been trying to find out where the Sandara newspaper office was located. As a child, my father took me there and was a friend of Mr. Vaidyla but I don’t remember where the newspaper office was located. Do you recall. I remember watching the typesetter at work and the creaky wooden floors there. I wondered how those old wooden floors supported all the heavy duty printing machinery! My father, Vyto Uznys was also a member of the Lithuanian Alliance of America. Would you by chance be related to Jane Kapocius-Kuzas? Please advise what you may know about the location of the Sandara business office in Brideport . . . I’m told that my mother was born in a building directly across the street from there. Thanks in advance for your help!

  39. My mother and her sister made their communion at Providence of God in 1914 or 15.

  40. Puikus puslapis! Pats domiuosi Amerikos lietuvių bažnyčiomis, tai smagu pamatyti daug susistemintos medžiagos.
    Tiesa, niekur nerandu daugiau informacijos apie Visų Šventųjų bažnyčia Roselande, Galbūt esate išsaugojęs šios bažnyčios adresą, kad būtų įmanoma bent per google’ą pažiūrėti?

  41. Thank you for the wonderful history lesson. I attended Saint George from 1957 to 1966 and was shocked when I came back to Chicago for a visit to find the Church, Convent and Monastery gone. It broke my heart. I was shocked that they took down the Cross and the Grotto too. I have many happy memories of a wonderful childhood spent at Saint George and this site helps to keep them alive.
    God bless,

    • Hi mike I lived at 827 west 33 rd pl and was in tears when I saw the church, school and all signs of it gone.I left St George school as you were stating there. I remember the coral grotto also. From my apt porch the clocks on the steeple were in my face as I left for school.I also attended Armour school before attending St George, what a difference. I ran into several people years later. Alex Belski, Kathy setter and her brothers,( DENNIS,TOBY) in tinley park. did you know them?

  42. Does anyone know the address of the old Sandara Lithuanian newspaper office in Bridgeport? It was down the street from the old St. George church but that is all I recall. Thanks in advance for any responses!

  43. It was my understanding that the 3-story hand-carved wooden altar, the church organ, and many of the magnificent stained-glass windows from St. George’s Church in the Bridgeport neighborhood in Chicago were to have been shipped back to Lithuania after the church was demolished. Does anyone know if this actually happened, and if so, if they have been preserved in any manner there?

  44. Within the past few years, the Lutheran Lithuanian Church opened on Wolf Road in the affluent suburb of Western Springs. It shares the small building with a non Lithuanian Lutheran parish, but the Lithuanian flag and notice of Lithuanian services are visible on the sign on Wolf Road. I understand it was the same group originally in Marquette Park in the city, but hadn’t lived in the city for years and didn’t feel safe at their old building. There are many people with Lithuanian heritage in the Western Springs, Hinsdale, Burr Ridge, La Grange areas….

  45. Aciu. Siandien as suzinojau daug naujienu apie CIKAGA, LABAI IDOMU.

  46. Wow..great article and pics. But you didnt include anyrhing about the Sisters of St. Casimir, a religious order that was was founded by a Lith woman, Maria Kaupas. A lot of the early nuns were Lith gals. Pictures of the Motherhouse, inside and out would be great, esp the chapel.
    That building was also the high school they started, St. Casimir Academy. Again, try and get pics of the old classrooms and library, and the grounds they sjared with the postulants and novices. That is one old building.
    Student population grew so they built Maria H.S..
    The nuns also taught school at the parishes you mentioned here in Chicago. I was a third generation student of theirs…”you cant scare me..I was taught by nuns!”

    • Thank you. We do include the interior images of locations we are able to visit. However, as the website is not funded by any authority, our ability to do that is limited. Therefore, often we rely on the free images available on Google Street View. However, those are just exterior images.

  47. Augustinas,
    I have had a real problem TRYING to get a photo of a bronze plaque on the main altar of Providence of God Church at 18th & Union. About every other year ( I no longer live in Illinois – retired now ) I have contacted the rectory for some 8 years about being able to enter the church so I can TAKE this picture of the plaque. The altar was paid for by the Lapinskas family in the parishes humble beginnings in the 20’s !!
    I received a response, some 6 years ago, from a woman who ID’d herself as the receptionist. I asked if SHE could take a photo of the plaque. Her response was that the plaque was “rubbed smooth” !!! ‘I’ find this hard to believe on one hand and on the other, when I get to town the church is LOCKED up and no one answers the rectory door !!

    Now I ‘hear’ that the church is “out of business.” Do you know someone who could, gain access to this FORTRESS and, take a digital of the plaque and email it to me ?? My Grandmother told me many years ago that she paid in full for this altar in the sum of $2300 !! It would be ‘nice’ if the church could help / co-operate with a brethren of the church. It makes me mad just to think about this run around I’ve been handed.

    • I wasn’t at this church. However, having visited some 80 Lithuanian-American churches, both current and former, I can say that the possibility to visit them often depends on the goodwill of the people there, such as priests. In some cases, we were able to quickly visit churches and even get tours on them even by non-Lithuanian priests (e.g. there is a Vietnamese parish in one of the ex-Lithuanian churches at Worcester, MA, yet the Vietnamese priest was happy to let us in and talk about it, even without any pre-arrangement). In some other cases, however, we were ignored despite many attempts to get inside, as, apparently, happened to you as well.

      When the churches are open, it is usually possible to get inside without any arrangements before or immediately after the mass. When they are closed, however, this becomes much harder. Providence of God, as I understand, still is a church albeit has no mass, so it may still have baptisms, weddings and such, though it could be hard to learn of their times in advance, but entering then would be the best bet.

      If successful in getting funding, we plan to do expedition “Destination – America 2018” to the Midwest in mid-2018, we would attempt to enter the Providence of God then as well, although we cannot guarantee more success in that than you had.

      To me it seems that some of the American churches work as churches should, that is, happy in the interest expressed in them and wishing to let the world know more about them, have a connection to them. However, some other churches, even if also Catholic, operate more like government institutions, wishing to get as little work as possible beyond what is a must (i.e. a once-weekly Holy Mass).

  48. If you do make it to the midwest for a trip you might want to check out St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Gary IN, my Great Grandparents and the community, mostly Lithuanian’s that came to US in the early 1900’s worshiped and married here. they also had a school that closed in the late 50’s early 60’s i think. my uncle (who is now 77 went there from 1946-1954. The church is still open but has very limited hours.

    • Thank you for the information. However, was it ever a Lithuanian church? In general, nearly every location of the USA had Lithuanians as patrons, members, etc., so, to keep our project manageable, w document only the sites that have a closer relation to Lithuania (e.g. ever had the majority of parishioners Lithuanian, Lithuanian language regularly used for the holy mass (even if it is no longer used now), Lithuanian signs still available in the decor of the church, memorials for Lithuanians built in the churchyard, or something else similar to that). Would the Gary Lutheran church qualify?

      We have information on the Gary Lithuanian Catholic church by the way in the Indiana article:

  49. Hello, Thank you for this wonderful informative sight. I am a second generation Lithuanian trying to research my family history, and this is very helpful. I would like however to suggest an edit perhaps, the sentence:
    “After Marquette Park was overtaken by Blacks there is no longer a Lithuanian district in Chicago, but a community center exists in the Lemont suburb.”
    This is quite off putting, I am not sure what you mean by “overtaken” but it sounds aggressive and i’m not sure that is what you are meaning to say?

    thank you for your time and consideration!

    • From what I read (those who lived in Marquette park at the time may explain more or correct me, perhaps) the situation was something like that:

      *Before the civil rights movement, Chicago had its “racial border” running somewhere south of Marquette Park, with Marquette Park being white (or, more correctly, Lithuanian) district, whereas most districts further south being black.
      *During the civil rights movement, blacks attempted to desegregate Chicago by unilaterally moving north and, being unable to actually buy much property in white parts of Chicago, they, for example, established camps in Marquette Park where they lived in the park itself.
      *A significant proportion of the new “unilateral inhabitants” were criminals or radicals. There were some direct clashes between the newly arrived blacks and Marquette Park locals as well, as the locals saw the new arrivals to be decreasing their quality of life and property values (due to large numbers of street people in what was a nice park, increased crime rates, etc.), as well, perhaps more importantly, as eroding the Lithuanian majority in what was the only significant area in the free non-communist world where such a majority existed (and thus the Lithuanian culture could have been perpetuated). Blacks, on the other hand, saw the locals of Marquette Park as a hindrance to desegregation or perhaps even opposing them due to racism; they generally did not try to see a difference between the recently-immigrated Lithuanians and the English-speaking “Old white” majority of the USA from which the bulk of their civil-rights-era “enemies” came.
      *Eventually, more and more Lithuanians began to leave the district, and the blacks bought/rented their homes as, given the new district’s reputation, few others wanted to live there (except some staunch Lithuanians who were too attached to the district and its symbolic meaning to leave, although, as Lithuanian restaurants and other institutions in Marquette Park closed down, more and more of them left also, as the district became not really Lithuanian anyhow; others died, while their kids moved out). Many homes remained abandoned.
      *As a result, the black civil-rights-era goal to desegregate Chicago failed: instead, the racial white-black border simply moved northwards, and Marquette Park, as well some other areas where Lithuanians once settled, became nearly all-black instead of being nearly all-white. The areas further north remained nearly all-non-black, however.
      *Lithuanians became the biggest losers in this, as they have lost their only district in what was essentially not “their struggle” as the first Lithuanians moved into the USA after the slavery was already abolished and there is no known Lithuanian who would have been a slaveowner in the USA. In fact, Lithuanian history is much more similar to that of Africans than that of English, Germans, or Italians where much of the USA’s white population originates from. Like the black nations, Lithuanians spent part of the 18th century, all the 19th century and the majority of the 20th century under the rule of foreign empires. Also, Lithuanians themselves in Lithuania lived in similar-to-slavery conditions until 1861, just 4 years before the US abolition to slavery, as most Lithuanians in Lithuania were considered to be a property of local nobles (usually Polish- or Russian- speaking nobles). In fact, that was the reason why they could not have emigrated to the USA earlier and once this “ownership” was abolished, they began to emigrate en-masse. See for similarities between Lithuanians and African-Americans.

      English is not my native language, however, given the circumstances, perhaps the word “overtaken” is ok to use, as it was part of the planned action during the civil rights movement that also included clashes?

      • Where did you get the above information?

        the city of chicago had a system of corrupt housing discrimination- for years
        See article below:

        I believe using the word “over-taken” is very problematic in this context, as we live in a free county where everyone deserves a home and a place to belong, and I think that immigrants understand this from a personal perspective. It is inherently racist to single out any group by race, religion, or culture and say they can’t live in a certain area. Chicago has had a long standing problem with segregation and it is a complicated history, but to be “overtaken”sounds like war-fare, or a coup of a regime, not just simply people trying to find a place to call home.

        Carolyn H.

      • I replied. I hope you received.

  50. I left a comment, I don’t see it here…

  51. here is a church bulletin from Williamsburg Brooklyn which back in the day had a large thriving Lithuanian community.

  52. going through family papers, baptisms, etc, your surname was related to mine. are our two surnames among the most common Lithuanian names and do either come from any specific area in Lithuania?

    • Žemaitis is more common than Stanaitis. In the archives, I can do a search for the surnames to see if they are more associated with some areas. Typically, before 20th cnetury Lithuanians were far less mobile, so surnames were greatly associated with some areas more than others (as the owners of the surnames would not migrate, and large families meant the numbers of the people with the same surname would expand exponentially in each area where these people lived). Yet, it is often impossible to know which surnames with what areas without a search in the archive database. There are no regions in Lithuania like Scotland or Wales in Great Britain that would have different ethnic heritage and thus very different surnames.

      • thanx for getting back to me. by accident, I located a young woman named Andrea stanaitis, her maiden minnesota several years ago, I found another Andrea stanaitis who lived in a Jewish area in the 20s in marjopole ( you probably know the name better than I do. I found other Stanaitis in suvalki and my maternal gp in sulaili (something)
        when I find the paper tying Zemaitis and Stanaitis together, I’ll send you a short note.

  53. For Chicago Lithuanians past and present, there are shirts for sale with more coming soon! High quality. Please check them out!

  54. Hi
    I totally agree with your description of Marquette park- you word is perhaps to nice.. Those of us who lived during the black invasion of our neighborhoods- Roseland-west Pullman, Brighton park on and on.. Begin robbed, homes broken into and loosing money on our homes . I and many of us are still around to remember the horror of this invasion. So i am more than fine with this word. I am thinking this young lady has never live through the great black invasion of our cities.

    • I visited Chicago in the late 70s for work related school. I never went into the city but decided to visit Marquette park . I hadn’t been in a Lithuanian neighborhood since I left Brooklyn, ny in the 40s. It was fantastic, but so then was Brooklyn back in the day. Brooklyn, today is totally changed and very nice again in most areas, especially Greenpoint and Williamsburgh. Yes, I agree with you. much of this younger generation has been brainwashed to totally disregard their own ethnicity and the struggles their forebears went through. the marches into the park were a forced incursion approved by that current political period ,resisted later on with force which was not good. it was not a normal “neighborhood in transition” change.

    • I had replied to and agreed with your comments. unfortunately I may have used some words considered “codes” and my comments were deleted.

  55. I still have more picture that I could send to you, it has been years 2014? that I sent you some of the pictures on your site. Some of the churches I was able to get into. For those I can share the pictures if you wish.

  56. here is another interesting site in Lithuania. pictures and recipes

  57. Please will you direct me to Lithuanian Alliance in Chicago? My grandfather, Casimir Boranowskas was a member, I don’t know when he joined as he emigrated to U.S. in 1908. My grandmother’s maiden name was Seraf(p)ina and she emigrated from Kaunas in 1909 approx. (while Lithuanian was still under Soviet rule), according to the ship manifest I found in Chicago. I am living in Washington, D.C. and have visited the Embassy here. Still there is so much history I don’t know. My grandparents lived in So. Chicago and my brothers and I attended the Lithuanian School, St. Joseph which is no longer part of Lithuanian community. Any information would be greatly appreciated as I am researching ancestry. I believe my grandparents were married in St. Joseph Church in So. Chicago when Fr. Victor Cernauskas was pastor and later, Fr. Peter. The story goes when St. Joseph was first built, peacocks strolled around the adjacent gardens. Thank you for your consideration and attention.

Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.