Divine Providence Parish is home to a variety of Lithuanian cultural, educational and humanitarian organizations, which use the Cultural Center adjacent to the church. These groups and their activities serve our own parish’s members, as well as the Lithuanian community at large.
A short synopsis of our organizations is provided below. A more detailed description of each, along with an extensive history of Divine Providence Lithuanian Catholic Church itself, can be found in the most recent commemorative magazine.
Lithuanian American Roman Catholic Federation “Ateitis”
Rusnė Kasputis, 734-454-1142, firstname.lastname@example.org
was established in Lithuania in 1908. The goal of the organization is to instill in young people values which stress the five principles upon which the organization was founded: devotion to God, love of country, perseverance in education, importance of family, taking an active role in society.
The Detroit area “Ateitininkai” are clustered into four groups: college graduates (age 30 +), college students, high school students, elementary school students. Each group organizes activities appropriate to the age level. Currently, however, the college graduate group—the seniors, provide only the moral and financial support for the other groups. The most active are the youth groups which meet monthly for meaningful, creative activities planned by competent group leaders.
Lithuanian American Community, Detroit Chapter
Rigonda Savickas, 734-934-2394 email@example.com
Lithuanian American Community (LB) - was established in 1951 for the purpose of fostering and supporting educational and cultural activities in Lithuanian communities in the U.S. Chapters now exist in 68 US communities and 27 countries, with membership open to all of Lithuanian descent. LB representatives in Detroit were instrumental in the planning and construction of Divine Providence Church and its facilities. Over the years they have sponsored a multitude of concerts, art exhibitions, political conferences, meetings with the press, and lectures. Since 1989, the LB has sponsored cultural exchanges with Lithuania, by inviting operatic singers, concert musicians, “pop” artists and theatrical groups to perform in North America. It is a strong supporter of the Lithuanian Saturday School. The central committee publishes textbooks and course outlines, provides financial assistance to existing schools and organizes professional development activities for teachers.
The Lithuanian American Youth Association, a part of the LB, targets young adults between 18 and 35 years. It organizes meetings, lectures, and international conferences.
Lithuanian Sports Club “Kovas”
Paulius Butkūnas, 734-464-9171, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sports Club “Kovas” calls the Divine Providence parish gymnasium “home”. Hundreds of Lithuanian children have competed and played here. “Kovas” frequently attracts individuals of Lithuanian descent who are not involved in any other Lithuanian activities. Children’s basketball tournaments are periodically organized attracting over 400 participants.
It sponsors competitions for adults as well. They include men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s golf.
Lithuanian Scouts Association, Detroit ChapterDaiva Anužienė, 810-355-1502, email@example.com
Vita Caravias, 908-342-1542, firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrius Anužis, 810-355-1502, email@example.com
Lithuanian Scouts Association was established in Lithuania in 1918 by Petras Jurgėla, according to the by-laws instituted by the founder of international scouting, Lord Baden Powell. Their motto is “for God, Country and Mankind.” As a result of the interruption and immigration caused by World War II, newly-settled Lithuanians in the Detroit area founded a Lithuanian girl scout chapter in 1950. A chapter for the Lithuanian boy scouts soon followed. Yearly activities include monthly meetings, the celebration of traditional holidays such as “Kūčios” (the Christmas Eve dinner), a spring fund-raising bazaar, and a week-long summer camp.
Folk Dance Group „Šaltinis”
Viktorija (Lele) Viskantas, 248-348-7479, firstname.lastname@example.org
The entire ensemble consists of four age groups: post college, college, high school, grade school. The instructor teaches the art of folk dancing and prepares the participants for local as well as national performances. “Šaltinis” has participated in folk dance festivals in Lithuania, the United States, and Canada, where hundreds of dancers of Lithuanian descent from all corners of the world perform selected dances. Lithuanian dancing is also taught each Saturday to the students of the “Žiburys” Lithuanian School.
It also prepares adult ensembles for performances at Lithuanian Folk Dance festivals. The last festival took place in Boston, MA, in July, 2012.
Lithuanian School “Žiburys”
Valdas Piestys, 248-506-9239, email@example.com
”Žiburys” Lithuanian Saturday School - operates from September through mid-May. It strives to teach our children to read and write the Lithuanian language, and to help them become more familiar with Lithuanian literature, history, geography, folk dances and songs. Religious instruction is also provided, and students are prepared for the sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation. The first Detroit area Lithuanian school opened in 1949 at St. Anthony’s Parish. It relocated a number of times over the years. In 1973, the school moved to its present location at Divine Providence Parish in Southfield. The name “Žiburys”, meaning “spark of light”, was chosen at that time.
Daughters of LithuaniaRamunė Mikailienė, 248-879-2092, firstname.lastname@example.org
It was organized in Chicago in December, 1960. This organization helped many young children and elderly of Lithuanian descent, who required assistance, but did not qualify for aid from public social service agencies. The Detroit chapter was formed in 1975. The organization helps the infirm, the aged, and the lonely, who long for familiar, Lithuanian-speaking contact. Since 1990, when Lithuania regained its independence, the work of the organization expanded to encompass needy people in Lithuania as well. In conjunction with various medical organizations in both Lithuania and the U.S., and with the assistance of their many volunteers and generous donors, “Lietuvos Dukterys” now sponsor children who travel to the U.S. for intensive medical care. In addition, the organization maintains a soup kitchen, a children’s nursery and a medical unit, and supports medical associations, schools and indigent families in Lithuania. The members of the organization live by the words of their motto, “A helpful hand to the needy.”
Andrius Viskantas, 406-579-3446, email@example.com
Lietuvos Šaulių Sąjunga was founded in 1919 by Vladas Putvinskas-Putvis. Its initial purpose was to assist in the maintenance of public safety in Lithuania during a period of political occupation by the Germans and Bolsheviks. This group later participated in the struggle for independence. Since 1997, the organization has become part of Lithuania’s official security system. Older members, especially those residing outside of Lithuania, participate more in cultural and social activities.