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Massachusetts

Massachusetts Lithuanian community is among the oldest and the fourth largest in the USA (~51 000 people, 0,8% of total).

The heart of the community is in South Boston where Lithuanian St. Peter church, clubs, and other institutions are located. Boston is also famous for having been the location where largest ever Lithuanian encyclopedia has been published.

In turn of the 20th century, Massachusetts Lithuanian communities also began in what were then industrial towns: Brockton and Worcester. Lithuanian Village was one of the hearts of Brockton and famous for its celebrations eagerly followed by non-Lithuanians as well. Worcester was the smallest US city outside Pennsylvania to have more than a single Lithuanian church.

Merrimack river valley and its long-gone textile industry made another Lithuanian heartland in towns of Lowell and Lawrence.

Beautiful Lithuanian church exists in Athol (Romance revival, 1912, still in use, 105 Main Street)

St. Francis church in Athol. Google Street View.

There are less Lithuanian institutions left in these towns today however as the communnity has not been replenished by new immigrants in 1950s and 1990s as was the case with Boston. Most Lithuanian churches have been closed in late the 2000s and sold to other denominations. They still stand however as do various monuments related to Lithuania. Some locations have names relating to Lithuania. Closed Lithuanian churches in small town Massachusetts include St. George at Norwood (built 1915, Polish seceded 1919, a convent was built 1955, closed 2004, converted into apartments).

The town of Stockbridge in the West of Massachusetts has few Lithuanians but it is the place of the National Shrine of Divine Mercy constructed in 1960 in support of the Divine Mercy worship which began in Vilnius.

Springfield, Massachusetts is the birthplace of Lithuania's national sport (basketball); the sport was invented by Dr. James Naismith in the local college. As such the city hosts the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Among the many inductees of this ball-shaped building, there is also a Lithuanian Arvydas Sabonis, widely regarded to be the nation's best-ever basketball player, in addition to being the first European to be selected in NBA draft (as Lithuania was still occupied by the Soviet Union Sabonis was precluded from leaving for several years). Šarūnas Marčiulionis, also a former NBA star, is another Lithuanian inductee.

Literature: Images of America: South Norwood, 2004, Norwood Historical Society, pg. 20-25

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  1. Additional reading / Papildomas skaitymas:

    Boston – English:

    http://www.enterprisenews.com/lifestyle/faith/x1878567102/South-Boston-priest-heads-one-of-the-last-remaining-Lithuanian-Catholic-churches-in-New-England

    http://www.vilnashul.org/

    Boston – English and Lithuanian:

    http://boston.lietuviu-bendruomene.org/

    Brockton – English:

    http://www.enterprisenews.com/news/x1878567092/The-Village-is-a-neighborhood-in-transition

    http://www.enterprisenews.com/lifestyle/faith/x1353505343/Losing-Lithuania-The-end-is-near-for-Brockton-s-Village?zc_p=1

    http://www.enterprisenews.com/lifestyle/faith/x1758134737/Former-St-Casimir-Catholic-Church-in-Brockton-sold

    http://www.lituanus.org/1990_3/90_3_04.htm

    http://www.enterprisenews.com/lifestyle/faith/x2084260673/Lithuanian-artifacts-from-former-Brockton-church-find-new-home-in-Avon

    http://www.enterprisenews.com/lifestyle/faith/x1579121255/VIDEO-EXTRA-Journey-of-faith-from-the-Brockton-area-to-a-village-in-Tanzania

    http://www.enterprisenews.com/lifestyle/faith/x968316771/Lithuanians-to-dedicate-new-monument-at-Brockton-cemetery

    http://www.enterprisenews.com/news/x878814917/Gone-for-two-decades-popular-Lithuanian-picnic-to-return-to-Brockton-on-Labor-Day

    http://www.enterprisenews.com/lifestyle/faith/x2103874686?zc_p=1

    http://www.enterprisenews.com/news/x2140829694/BY-OUR-READERS-The-Village-an-example-of-multicultural-Brockton

    http://www.enterprisenews.com/lifestyle/x338994940

    http://www.inbrockton.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=11369

    Worcester, English:

    http://mysite.verizon.net/vze11s0ef/church/history.htm

    http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/8247778.Worcester_gets_a_new_twin___and_it_s_not_Gaza_City/

    http://www.lituanus.org/1980_2/80_2_06.htm

    http://www.telegram.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120722/APN/307229981

    Bostonas – Lietuviškai:

    http://aidai.us/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=359&Itemid=99

    Video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUQpW5brJpA


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