Saint Virgin Mary Church in Grūžiai

  • Grūžių Švč. Mergelės Marijos bažnyčia
The old wooden Saint Virgin Mary Church in Grūžiai was built in 1924 and was burnt down. In 1913 the priest Antanas Gelžinis set an altar in a residential house where he used to hold services. During the First World War the priest Mykolas Šležys settled in Grūžiai. He took care to refurbish the former manor barn and held services in there. The priest Juozapas Mazūras launched the construction of the wooden church which was built under the project of J. Skripkus within 1921–24. The altars were set within 1928–1932. Under the care of the parish administrative priest Vincent Švagždys the main altar was built in 1937 (crafted by Vladas Čižauskas) and a new organ with two church bells were installed in 1938. The priest Alfonsas Kadžius was arrested in September 4, 1949 and sent to prison in Vorkuta. He came back to Lithuania in 1957. The church had neo-gothic features, was square-shaped with a single tower and a a ridge turret. It contained 3 altars. The church had stone basement, its yard was enclosed by an iron fencing. The church was burnt down in an arson attack in September 25, 1996. The actual church Saint Virgin Mary Church is in Pasvalys district, Grūžiai village, 9,5 km north from Joniškėlis. On the suggestion of Vaškai elder Vladas Vitkauskas and under the supervision of the priest Vytautas Butkus, a new church was established on the construction site of the unfinished kolkhoz culture house. The church area takes up 200 square meters and has an iron tower of 30 meters height. The project for the new church was designed by the architect Algirdas Mikėnas. The stained glass crosses for the main altar were crafted by the artist Artūras Rimkevičius. The church was sanctified by the bishop of Panevėžys Juozapas Preikšas in August 12, 2001.
  • GPS coordinates: 56.10950, 24.15594