Friends of Saint Peter Lithuanian Parish – Update # 13
November 3, 2004

Dear Friends-

Last Sunday, Kryziu Kalnas/ The Hill of Crosses, our local version, began to grow in front of St. Peter Lithuanian Church. What a wonderful day…Sunday, October 31st, 2004…our symbol of resistance to the archdiocese protesting the suggested closing of our Parish began modestly and ended with about 250-300 crosses being planted in pots of soil or affixed to the railing and banister. Parishioners and friends came to the 10:30 mass with crosses. Some were elaborate and beautifully carved. Some were made of branches from backyards and were lovingly tied with string or rope. Some were colorfully decorated and painted – especially the crosses made by the children of the Boston Lithuanian School. Creativity was evident everywhere from the large birch cross with a Lithuanian motif, to ones made from dowels to one, made from clothespins and firmly planted in a red, yellow and green planter. Friends and parishioners out of state sent some crosses. One such cross was placed in memory of a deceased mother. The note accompanying the cross said “what better place to honor the memory of my mother than at your Hill of Crosses.”
We received media coverage. Channels 5, 25 and 56 were in attendance as well as reporters and photographers from the Herald and the Globe. (Media Section) Press kits, with wonderful background information, were provided to members of the press.
A giant black banner (20’ x 4’) with white letters and the image of our church surrounded by a multitude of crosses broadcast the message – “The Souls of St. Peter Lithuanian Parish Live Here”. (Please enjoy the photos)
The resulting Kryziu Kalnas/Hill of Crosses is a powerful image! One is forced to stop and look. One is drawn to its strange aura. The neighborhood children kept approaching the shrine with great curiosity. Members of the committee were present to explain the significance of the Hill of Crosses to the children. They were invited to bring their crosses to the shrine with their special intentions.
The beginning was solid. But it would be wonderful to keep the Hill of Crosses growing and expanding. If you did not participate on October 31st, please come at any time and add your cross or crosses to the shrine. Invite your relatives and friends to place a cross in memory of a loved one. Our out-of state friends or those that live a great distance away from the church are invited and encouraged to send crosses to us via mail or UPS. We would be happy to add your crosses to the shrine. The greater the number of crosses, the grander our statement to the archdiocese. So, send us your crosses! Visit the church and place your crosses with the others.

To date, NO written decree has been received by the pastor. Letters and information packets have been sent to the newly formed committee that is looking into the whole configuration process. No responses yet.

A mailing to parishioners and friends was done on Friday, October 29th. This mailing asks if there is support for a possible live-in in the church when and if the locks are changed. Based upon responses, which should be returned by November 10th, plans to organize a live in will be made or the proposal will be dismissed. If you have not received a letter, please notify us and we shall send one out or Click Here or PDF. Please share this information with those who do not have computer access.

The Friends are fortunate to have many energetic and talented individuals who generously give of their time to organize activities, prepare materials, do mailings and many other tasks that must be completed. Many thanks to the committee that organized the Hill of Crosses project. Many individuals helped in many ways; however, a special thanks to Arnold, Pat and Audrey Plevock for erecting the “bones” of the Hill of Crosses, to Daiva Navickas for the powerful banner, to Mirga Girnius, Rima Girnius and Daiva Izbickas for their PR efforts and to all the other hands who attended meetings, planned, executed and even “guarded” the Hill of Crosses until late Halloween night!

Please spread the news contained in this update. Send us your comments via e-mail. Share your thoughts and ideas with us. We appreciate all the support.

Until next time…keep those crosses coming!

Gloria R. Adomkaitis
For the Friends of St. Peter Lithuanian Parish