President Gitanas Nausėda and the First Lady visited the Pontifical Lithuanian College of St. Casimir in Rome where they met with Rector Priest Audrius Arštikaitis and clerical students.
The college was established in 1946. During the years of Soviet occupation, it served as a center of Lithuanian culture and as Lithuania’s representation. Today the college is a priest house that provides suitable conditions for studies and spiritual advancement. It presently offers accommodation to six priests from Lithuania – also to priests from India, South Korea, Latvia and Ghana – who study at the Catholic universities in Rome.
“I am delighted to hear so many different positive accounts about the college and its educational activities. And I would like to express my deep gratitude to you for being true patriots of Lithuania and heralds of faith. All Lithuanian leaders who came to Rome would visit the college – and rightly so. It is something beyond the call of duty that attracts to this place. Rome has a unique spirit of its own – and it is here that you are building a spiritual hub of national significance,” the President said.
The college, its priests and clerics arrange exhibitions, concerts and host meetings with Lithuanian artists and political figures. Since its establishment six decades ago, the college has educated more than 300 students, emerging as an island of Lithuanian spirit in Italy.
The President and First Lady met and had a warm conversation with prelate Stasys Žilys who was appointed Prefect of Studies at the College of St. Casimir in 1959. At the age of 95, he continues to be the college’s spiritual father. For his service, he has been granted the titles of monsignor, prelate and apostolic protonotary.
Sigitas Žilys is the author of theological books “Sources of Life” and “The Living Liturgy”, which were smuggled to the Soviet-occupied Lithuania and distributed through underground channels. He taught Pope John Paul II the Lithuanian language before the latter’s visit to Lithuania.
Last updated 2019.11.08 09:13Back