The Military Bishop:
General Vicar and Chief Military Chaplain:
can. Juozas Gražulis
Šv. Ignoto g. 8/29
Tel. +370 5 273 55 25
Fax: +370 5 212 61 70
According to the Canon Law the military ordinariate is analogous to the personal diocese. The military bishop together with the general vicar and chaplains provide for the pastoral needs of military personnel and their family members.
Military Ordinariate of Lithuania was established by the Decree Christi Discipuli issued by Vatican Congregation for Bishops on November 25, 2000. On the same day the Bishop of Šiauliai Eugenijus Bartulis was secondarily appointed the first Military Bishop of Lithuania. He consequently appointed Rev. Can. Juozas Gražulis his general vicar and the chief military chaplain. Military Ordinariate of Lithuania was founded with reference to the Agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of Lithuania concerning the pastoral care of the Catholics serving in the Army, ratified on September 11, 2000. On October 13, 2001 the Vatican Congregation for Bishops approved the Statute of the Military Ordinariate of Lihuania.
Before the establishment of the military ordinariate the pastoral care in the newly created Lithuanian armed forces was occasionally provided since 1991.
15 diocesan priests and 1 religious priest were serving as military chaplains in 2003. The jurisdiction of the military ordinariate includes the Catholics exercising their obligatory military service, the employees of the structures of Lithuanian national defense, the students of military academies, together with their Catholic family members.
The main church of Lithuanian military ordinariate is St. Ignatius church in Vilnius. The chapels have been arranged in the General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, in the motorized infantry brigade Geležinis vilkas, the garrison of Tauragė. The rectorial church of St Archangel Michael in Kaunas, as well as St. Casimir church in Alytus both are used for the worship services of the military and the pastoral care of the civil faithful.
According to the annual tradition Lithuanian troops together with their chaplains participate in the indulgential feasts in Žemaičių Kalvarija, at the Hill of the Crosses and in Šiluva. The delegations of Lithuanian military take part in the International pilgrimages to Lourdes.
The military chaplains also minister for the police and firemen forces according to special agreements, which are not yet regulated on the national level.