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Type of publication: Straipsnis / Article
Author(s): Laukaitytė, Regina
Title: Išeivijos vienuolijų ryšiai su Lietuva
Other Title: Relations of Lithuanian diaspora religious orders with Lithuania
Is part of: OIKOS: lietuvių migracijos ir diasporos studijos, 2014, nr. 1(17), p. 67–75
Date: 2014
Abstract: This article analyzes the ties that Lithuanian religious orders active in the diaspora in the 20th century maintained with their Lithuanian homeland during three historical periods: the first half of the 20th century; the period from 1944 to 1990; and the period after 1990 when Lithuanian independence was restored. What were the social and political forces driving these ties? To the convents and monasteries in the Lithuanian diaspora ties to Lithuania were vitally important; it was thanks to them that these religious congregations could maintain their national identity far from the Homeland and foster Lithuanian culture. Prior to 1940 the first Lithuanian religious women’s congregations founded in the United States made efforts to send some of their members to study in Lithuania and to establish separate convents there so as to ensure continuous renewal. After roughly the first decade of Soviet occupation disrupted relations were able to be renewed and later they got stronger each year: those religious orders that were active in the Lithuanian underground and had branches in the emigration exchanged their most important documentary information and were materially supported by émigré organizations. After the restoration of Lithuanian statehood in 1990, the monks and nuns living in the diaspora played a large part in resuscitating congregation life as well as the social activities of monasteries and convents in post-Soviet society. But these diaspora congregations themselves now needed the help of the Homeland in keeping up their own existence: they hoped to receive new candidates and after years of standstill or attrition to open up novitiates again and take in new members. But not all these hopes materialized: a newly reborn Lithuania and a new wave of economic immigrants were not able to change the tendencies, several decades in the making, that marked the fate of convents and monasteries in the Lithuanian diaspora.
Appears in Collections:OIKOS: lietuvių migracijos ir diasporos studijos 2014, nr. 1(17)

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