Priests' Administrative and Pastoral Work in (Šumsk) Šunskai Cover Image

Priests' Administrative and Pastoral Work in (Šumsk) Šunskai

Author(s): Kęstutis Žemaitis
Subject(s): Christian Theology and Religion
Published by: Visuomeninė organizacija »LOGOS«
Keywords: the constructions of the church; priests; inventory

Summary/Abstract: The first church in Sunskai (called Sumska and Sumskai until the beginning of XX century) was built in 1795. The building of this first church was the main reason for an active religious and public life in the area. The building process itself called for the solidarity of the people and made an impact on forming the leadership in the region. With the guidance of the same leadership of the people the school and the trading activities come into existence. The builder of the church was Stanislovas Stadalnykas, wh was assigned here by the bishop of Vilnius. S. Stadalnykas' assignment was from 1795 to 1814. During this time the church and the rectory was built under his guidance. Around 1803 another parish building which was designated to accommodate another priest was erected by the management of father Stadalnykas. This fact testifies that the parish community increased in size. Sunskai at that time was a filial church of Vilkaviskis parish. The priests who worked here were administrators on behaved of Vilkaviskis pastoi. The names and serving times of such priests are: Anupras Cerskis 1814-1819, Martynas Sinkevicius 1819-1825, Severinas Jekelaitis 1826-1837, Jonas Burdulevicius 1837-1838, Vincas Bebrinykas 1838-1859 and Jurgis Kudirka 1859-1868 who was assigned the special task of building the new church. The inventory book of the church and parish is well kept and holds many notes on liturgies vestments, liturgical books, data on administration of the sacraments, various things in the rectory, land and cemetery. The inscription on the church stone testifies that the new church was finished in 1866. The new church was built where the former sanctuary and the cemetery used to be. The new church which holds the title of St. Mary of Magdala was consecrated in 1867 on 24 of September by the bishop of Seinai Irenij Konstantin Liubenski. The church was beautifully built and decorated, equipped with liturgical and other necessary tools. Three feasts for obtaining indulgencies were introduced in the church. This fact is recorded in the inventory book in 1869. These are the names of former leaders of this filial parish and their serving times: the builde of the church - Jurgis Kudirka 1859-1868, and his brother - Simonas Kudirka 1869-1875, Simonas Varkala 1875-1892, canon Vincas Natkevicius 1893-1935 (since 1921 priest in residence). When father Jurgis Kudirka started his pastoral ministry, there were 369 families with 3444 people in the community. Since 1868 Sunskai community belongs no longer to the denary of Alvitas but to the denary of Marijampole. In the near future the church community will change from a filial to an independent parish community in the diocese.

  • Issue Year: 2007
  • Issue No: 52
  • Page Range: 174-186
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: Lithuanian