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 Vilnius, May 6: Report on Social Activities in Vilnius Archdiocese

The publication “Social Activity Account of Vilnius Archdiocese”, 20- page report containing information on activities of various social organizations in the years 2003 –2004, was officially presented on May 6 in Vilnius. The presentation symbolically took place in the soup kitchen ”Betanija”, established by Cardinal Audrys Bačkis. During the presentation Cardinal Audrys Bačkis expressed his satisfaction with the publication, simultaneously he pointed to the value of silent work and humility instead of advertising. He emphasized the need to serve the poor in every parish.

The investigation on 26 Catholic social initiatives was performed by the Temporary Commission of Social Affairs of Vilnius. The aim of the account was to demonstrate the contribution of Catholic Church in the social area. The report was presented by the head of the Temporary Commission, Balys Stankus. According to the Account, two thirds of social initiatives had the juridical status of religious communities, many of them have been successfully functioning for more than 10 years. In 2003–2004 Catholic social initiatives and organizations provided help for 8444 persons. During the mentioned period social initiatives and organizations had 107 employees and 376 volunteer helpers. The sum of annual budgets of Catholic social initiatives exceeded 3 million litas. Catholic social initiatives were financed mainly through private donations and foreign subsidies from Catholic foundations and organizations. According to Balys Stankus, financial aid from foreign Catholic organizations considerably decreased after Lithuania joined EU.

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