Global True Lithuania Lithuanian communities and heritage worldwide

Massachusetts

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

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

Boston Lithuanian club

Boston Lithuanian club. US and Lithuanian flags wave at the entrance

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. It has impressive 4 memorials for perished Lithuanians, 3 of them for Lithuanians who died for Lithuania's freedom.

Memorial for those who died for Lithuanian freedom near the Brockton Lithuanian church

Memorial for those who died for Lithuanian freedom near the Brockton Lithuanian church

Worcester was the smallest US city outside Pennsylvania to have more than a single Lithuanian church, both of them especially impressive. It also hosts Maironis Club that has pretty Lithuanian art in its interior.

Our Lady of Vilna Lithuanian church in Worcester.

Merrimack river valley and its long-gone textile industry made another Lithuanian heartland in towns of Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill, each of them having at least one Lithuanian church, club and cemetery.

Entrance arch of the Lithuanian national cemetery

Entrance arch of the Lithuanian national cemetery in the Merrimack Valley

Beautiful Lithuanian church exists in Athol which, together with Gardner, formed yet another Lithuanian "colony" as they were called in the early 1900s. There are several Lithuanian clubs tehre too and everything, including the church, still operates.

Bible scenes with Lithuanian explanations in the Athol church

Bible scenes with Lithuanian explanations in the Athol church

There are less Lithuanian institutions left in these towns today, however, as the community 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.

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 Basketball Hall of Fame there lists Arvydas Sabonis and Šarūnas Marčiulionis among the top players. Westfield, a suburb of Springfield, also has a former Lithuanian church.

The interior of Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame with the faces of all the inductees

The interior of Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame with the faces of all the inductees

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

The map

All the Lithuanian locations, described in this article, are marked on this interactive map, made by the "Destination Lithuanian America 2017" expedition (click the link):

Interactive map of Massachussetts Lithuanian sites
 


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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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