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Worcester, Massachusetts

Worcester, 64 km westwards from Boston has a population of 180 000, ~2% Lithuanian (~4000). This is the 5th largest number of Lithuanians among all US cities (after Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia).

Gothic revival St. Casimir Lithuanian church (41 Providence Street) offered regular services here from 1916 to 2009. Final mass was held in 2010 for Lithuanian independence day and the building was sold in 2011 to charismatic Christians for 650 000 USD. Altair and other sacred items were removed beforehand. Former members of the parish (established in 1894) still maintain a large website dedicated to the church which was created for an unsuccessful struggle against merging their parish with English-speaking St. John parish. It is quite rare that so much information about an important Lithuanian American building is collected in one place.

St. Casimir Lithuanian church. After its closure Worcester became the first American city that had two Lithuanian churches to lack a single one. Google Street View.

Worcester was large enough to have a second Lithuanian church, gothic revival Our Lady of Vilna (153 Sterling Street, built ~1925). Today it serves the Vietnamese community indicating that the modern migration to America is mostly non-White, unlike that of the 1900s. Vietnamese-Americans have one thing in common with Lithuanian-Americans however: many of them immigrated after their country has been overrun by a communist invasion. Gediminas street still exists in church vicinity (named after Grand Duke Gediminas of Lithuania, 1275-1341).

Our Lady of Vilna church in Worcester. Google Street View.

The suburb of Shrewsbury includes Maironis park (52 South Quinsigamond Avenue), named after the famous Lithuanian patriotic poet of 19th-century national revival. This is a building rented out for celebrations (including Lithuanian holidays).

In 2010 the Worcester municipality recognized its partly Lithuanian roots by twinning with a town of Ukmergė in Lithuania.

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