Jesuits, with a proud tradition in Lithuania since 1569, strive to promote the moral and intellectual life of the Baltic region by nurturing human dignity and mature faith, by emphasizing scholarship and excellence in Catholic education, and by supporting a truly civil society based upon truth and service to others.
The Baltic Jesuit Advancement Project serves to secure support for Jesuit programs and ideals in the Baltic Region.


In 1990, Lithuania regained its independence after five decades of Soviet occupation. While elation swept the country, the citizenry took stock of the damages this oppression had wrought and the great changes needed for Lithuania to rebuild for the world of the 21st century.
As they have throughout their 450-year history, Jesuits took a lead in creating a new Lithuania. They re-opened two formerly Jesuit-owned high schools - one in Vilnius, the other in Kaunas - despite the deplorable condition of the existing facilities. They also reclaimed four Jesuit churches, which barely resembled houses of worship after 50 years of physical abuse. One church had been converted into a Soviet museum of atheism; another had been used as a shooting range. Still, recognizing the tremendous spiritual hunger of the people, Jesuits quickly restored these facilities to working order and re-opened them. Students and worshippers filled the churches; it was clear that the demand for moral nourishment was great, and that once again Jesuits were making a difference.
From 1991 to 1997, Jesuits were able to carry out approximately $1 million worth of vital facility repairs, thanks to the generosity of donors throughout the world. Without this swift, extraordinary response there would be few classrooms, few places of worship or residences for elderly Jesuits. Now that the most pressing needs have been met, it is time to create a well-designed plan for the future, identifying and prioritizing the sometimes-overwhelming requirements for buildings, programs and Jesuit formation. To this end, Jesuits have established a Baltic Jesuit Advancement Board to oversee the creation of this plan. The first steps are being taken with Tradition for the Future.

back to top


To build a blueprint for success, the Baltic Jesuit Advancement Board undertook a comprehensive planning process in the spring of 1998. Over 100 individuals - Board members, Lithuanian-Americans, alumni of Jesuit institutions, business professionals, and Jesuit priests participated in a process to determine a vision for the future.
Participants received background information on the components of the Jesuit mission in Lithuania, the achievements realized to date, and the general needs and opportunities that have been identified for the next five years.
The discussions were lively, candid and constructive. Participants were overwhelmingly positive about the work of the Jesuits in Lithuania. Through this bold visioning process, priorities and enthusiasm began to emerge. Recurring themes, insights and recommendations included the following:

  • Jesuits has made tremendous progress in their Lithuanian ministries in the short time that they have been publicly re-engaged in Lithuania. The two high schools (Vilnius and Kaunas) are considered the greatest success story of Jesuit involvement since Lithuania's independence. The high ratio of applications to accepted students (5 to 1 in Vilnius, 7 to 1 in Kaunas), demonstrates this success.
  • Lithuania have moved beyond the euphoria of independence, and is looking to build a solid future. The people of Lithuania understand well the challenges their country faces as Lithuania heads toward the new millennium.
  • To this end, the success of the future rests with the youth of the nation.
  • Jesuits have always taken a lead in making a difference where the need is the greatest. Not only has their involvement in Lithuania already had a positive impact, but it also signals a brighter future for the country.
  • Through his leadership, charisma, understanding and deep faith, Fr. Anthony Saulaitis S.J., personifies the mission of the Jesuits in Lithuania.

All of this suggests a compelling case for support: the presence of an urgent and significant need, strong leadership in the person of Father Saulaitis, and a belief that money invested here can and will make an immediate and powerful impact in Lithuania and globally.

back to top


The Priority Team planning discussions made obvious that the two Jesuit schools are the heat and soul of the Jesuit mission in Lithuania. Still, as many observed, there remains the challenge to nourish the life of Lithuanian Catholics through Lithuania's Churches, and the formation of young men preparing for the Jesuit priesthood. The needs for the next five years are as follows:

(640 students, opened in 1991)

  • Major maintenance and repairs.
  • Construction of new labs, cafeteria and athletic complex.

(570 students, opened in 1995)

  • Major maintenance and repairs.
  • Construction of a new multi-purpose athletic facility.
  • Construction of a student campsite and retreat center.

  • Equipment, technology, transportation, faculty enhancement, student programs.

  • Renovation and repair of three Jesuit churches:
    St. Casimir in Vilnius;
    St. Xavier in Kaunas;
    St. Ignatius in Siauliai.

  • Renovation of Vilnius residence.
  • Renovation of Kaunas residence.
  • Renovation or retreat center and novitiate.

  • Support for formation, education and preparation of Jesuit novices and candidates.

back to top


Tradition for the Future is the logical response to the Priority Team process. It seeks to forge a partnership among a broad spectrum of people who are committed to bringing the vision of the Jesuit ministry in Lithuania to fruition.
All of the needs of the Lithuanian Jesuit mission cannot be met immediately. Nevertheless, before the inaugural of Tradition for the Future, over $1 million had already been secured from local and global philanthropists for critically urgent facility repair and for funding Jesuit novice formation. This campaign seeks to take the next dramatic step in advancing this mission toward a brighter tomorrow.


In May 1998, the Baltic Jesuit Advancement Board launched Tradition for the Future with a short-range goal of securing $1 million for funding the project's next - and most immediate - objectives. These include:

  • Continued renovation and repair of the school facilities.
  • High school furnishings, supplies and program enhancements.
    Support for novice formation.
  • Urgently needed repairs to Jesuit residences and churches.
  • A "seed fund" for construction of new facilities.


Following the achievement of these objectives, Tradition for the Future will move immediately into its second phase, which will focus on the following:

  • Construction of new high school facilities, including science labs, a cafeteria and athletic centers.
  • Completion of renovation of residences and churches.
  • Establishment of endowment funds for faculty and student development
  • Establishment of endowment funds for Jesuit novice formation.

back to top


Advancing the Jesuit mission in Lithuania - and making a difference in the lives of today's young Lithuanians - begins with you. Supporting this effort with a "stretch" investment will have an immediate impact on the students and Jesuit novices who are preparing to lead Lithuania in the next century. Most importantly, it will send a resounding signal of endorsing the value of moral development in a nation rediscovering itself.
There are a variety of ways to invest in Tradition for the Future:


Tradition for the Future seeks commitments over a period of three to five years, or any other appropriate timetable. Spreading out such an investment, with the option to make annual, semi-annual or quarterly pledge payments, allows for a far greater impact on the project.


Securities Gifts of Stock - one time gifts or multiple gifts over a period of years - are ideal for both the donor and the Baltic Jesuit Advancement Project. In giving appreciated stock, the donor avoids capital gains taxes, receives the full benefit of a charitable contribution and provides the Jesuits with a significant and immediate gift.


Gifts of real estate extend the same advantages as stock gifts. As in gifting stock, the donor provides meaningful impact on the Jesuit mission, benefits from significant tax savings and does not suffer any decrease in regular cash flow.


An estate gift provides a donor with the gift of a lifetime. Life insurance, annuities, trusts or a remembrance through one's will is an excellent way to make a lifelong testimony to the Baltic Jesuit Advancement Project.

Please consult with your financial adviser on the right strategy for you.

back to top

click on icon to see video version