The classical urban-style green house Švč. On the side of the Trinity Church, there is not only a wooden architecture, but also a historical heritage.
The Diocese of Panevėžys was established there, where Bishop Kazimieras Paltarokas lived and worked.
It would be hard to imagine the central part of Panevėžys without the large green-painted building marked at Sodų gatvė 3.
Apparently, this house has established itself here forever, it will remain in the memory of both young and old Panevezys residents, in the stories of their parents.
A venerable crown of faith has been placed on this state-protected building. After all, this is the first seat of the diocese of Panevėžys, the place of life and work of Kazimieros Paltaroks, the first bishop of Panevėžys, between 1926 and 1949.
And now this wooden beauty is important for believers. St. was founded in it. Rectorate of Trinity Church.
However, there was a significant period in the history of the house when faith was lost from it and the walls had to see completely different needs, habits and actions.
Virginija from Panevėžys remembers visiting this beautiful building looking for a job more than four decades ago.
Having left a large industrial company due to poor health, she wanted to find an easier, more attractive job.
And in these premises at that time there was an employment office that performed the functions of the current Employment Service – small rooms with two or three clerks sitting in them.
No more was needed – after all, it was announced that there could be no unemployment in the Soviet Union: numerous industrial enterprises with their machines and conveyors were operating at full capacity.
Panevėžys says that she received several offers at the office, but in the end she found a better job herself.
However, she remembers very well the interest with which, knowing a little about the history of the former diocese building, she then turned to that mysterious place.
Before the establishment of the diocese, a huge garden was laid out in the place where we can see the green house now, and in it there was a new wooden five-room house of the Orthodox saint Shorets. The diocese bought the house from this saint. PANEVĂŠ LOCAL HISTORY MUSEUM funds photo.
The fire did not escape
And not only the employment office, but also many other institutions operated behind the walls of the green house during its history.
In the year of the first Soviet occupation, the building was nationalized, ten families of Russian officers lived in it, and only one room was left for the bishop as a tenant.
After the war, in 1949, the building was seriously occupied. Its internal walls were demolished, the planning was changed, the interior was damaged and various institutions started to be moved into the house.
According to the data in the Panevėžys Museum of Local History, a kindergarten operated in the green house from 1950 to 1966, and a children’s polyclinic was established after it was opened, which existed until 1971.
Later, the house was handed over to the Education Department of the city’s Executive Committee, which established its departments here.
“In 1976, a fire broke out and the building was badly damaged. After the renovation, the Department of Education returned to it. In addition, even the commissioner of the militia had his office here, there was a recruitment office, the Panevėžys branch of the Local History Society,” says Donatas Pilkauskas, historian of the Panevėžys Museum of Local History.
By the way, during the Soviet era, the building was given the name Green House by the townspeople.
But the phase of forced changes is finally over. In 1989, the house was returned to the church, repaired and St. Parsonage of Trinity Church.
The museum employee recalls that at that time the memorial room of Bishop K. Paltaroks, a museum exposition of post-war partisans and exiles, social organizations – shooters, political prisoners and exiles, the youth organization “Jaunoji Lietuva” etc.
After becoming a bishop, K. Paltarokas especially took care of the construction of the most important sanctuary of the entire diocese – the cathedral. PANEVĂŠ LOCAL HISTORY MUSEUM FUNDS photo.
It is worth taking a closer look at the history of the building, which was entered into the Register of Cultural Values in 1996. It is announced that the date of its construction is 1872, and the annexes were built around 1926-1927, when the diocese of Panevėžys was founded.
Historian D. Pilkauskas says that on April 4, 1926, Pope Pius XI divided the diocese of Žemaicai into three parts and established new dioceses with the apostolic constitution.
Since that date, Panevėžys Diocese has been included in the list of world dioceses, and Professor Kazimieras Paltarokas, a canon of the Metropolitan Church of Kaunas, has been appointed as the first bishop.
The new bishop began to manage ten deaneries assigned to Panevėžys diocese, almost seven dozen parishes, etc.
“The curia had to prove that the presence of such an ecclesiastical center, the construction that will begin, will bring a lot of benefits to the city.”
But, as the historian says, the news about the city of Panevėžys becoming the center of a new diocese was unexpected and not well received by the city authorities at that time.
“The curia had to prove that the presence of such a church center and the construction that will begin will bring a lot of benefits to the city,” says the historian.
However, the city authorities at that time welcomed the established diocese quite coldly and immediately taxed the bishop with almost tripled real estate taxes.
“Although according to the law, church premises are exempt from taxes, the city board hastened to tax the bishop’s property with a tax of 125 litas. And only later, after proving that the bishop personally used only two rooms, and the others were for the curia’s needs, did they agree to reduce the fee to 50 litas”, – the museum employee mentions the facts of the past.
P. ŽIDONIO’s photo.
In the saint’s garden
Before the foundation of the diocese, in the place where we can see the green house now, there was a huge garden, and in it there was a new wooden five-room house of the Orthodox saint Shoretz.
The diocese bought the house from this saint in 1926.
The building was quickly adapted to the needs of the diocese: it was repaired, remodeled, and extensions were added from the east and west sides of the house.
The first floor houses the bishop’s apartment, as well as the chapel, the chancellery and the diocesan library. The second room housed the bishop’s secretary and chancellor, four rooms were for guests.
Over time, the building has become beautiful, and the garden next to it is one of the most beautiful in the city.
It is known that the bishop’s garden was maintained by the talented forester Mykolas Konkulevičius. He graduated from the Panevėžys Real School, and later from the Petrapilis Forestry Institute. After returning to Lithuania, he worked in the Department of Forests, and at the same time he was assigned the duties of forest inspector of Eastern Lithuania – Panevėžys district.
M. Konkulevičius established and headed the School of Forestry Technology in Panevėžys.
So the garden nurtured by such a connoisseur of vegetation simply flourished. Many different ornamental and fruit trees were planted in it.
In 1995, the arch was unveiled. Memorial plaque dedicated to K. Paltaroks. P. ŽIDONIO’s photo.
Lessons from the bishop
Not only the first diocese, but also the first bishop of Panevėžys, K. Paltarokas, deserves a special memory.
After all, thanks to him, the city became brighter, more cultural, many new, meaningful activities appeared, bright thoughts were spread, and young people were attracted.
The bishop found time and energy for cultural activities.
The headquarters of the Catholic Action Center, the central diocesan library, a hall for theaters, and the Catholic “Banga” printing house were established under his care. His social merits were particularly evident when he patronized Catholic organizations after becoming a bishop.
The clergyman was also indifferent to social problems. Charities actively participated
St. in the activities of the Vincent Paulietis Society.
After becoming a bishop, K. Paltarokas especially took care of the construction of the most important sanctuary of the entire diocese – the cathedral.
This one was built on the foundations of a church that began to be built at the beginning of the 20th century.
In the 1930s, in the year of Vytautas the Great, on March 4, the patron saint of Panevėžys diocese, St. On Casimir’s Day, prelate Jonas Mačiulis-Maironis consecrated the cathedral. At the request of Bishop K. Paltaroks, Maironis created a hymn to Christ the King especially for the cathedral.
The hymn was sung during the ceremonial introduction of St. Sacramento.
In 1933, the cathedral named after Christ the King was consecrated by Archbishop J. Skvireckas.
Already later, in 1939, on the initiative of K. Paltaroks, the construction of the Minor Clerical Seminary was started in Panevėžys, but due to the occupation, of course, the clergy in Panevėžys never started training. The current building, which was once built for a seminary, now houses the private Catholic high school of K. Paltaroks.
K. Paltarok is remembered today and he once wrote about fifty pastoral letters.
The letters in which the diocesan pastor teaches, warns, admonishes, encourages, are interesting and relevant even today, they are characterized by lively language and an easy style.
In addition to pastoral letters, Bishop Kazimierz published many other books of greater or lesser volume.
Eternal rest – in Panevėžys
Bishop K. Paltarokas left Panevėžys in 1949. He went to live in the capital because he was elected vicar of the archdiocese of Vilnius.
The life of this clergyman, who left a special mark in the history of Panevėžys, ended on January 3, 1958 in Vilnius, and a few days later he was ceremoniously buried in the crypt of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Panevėžys.
There are many signs commemorating the life and activities of the venerable Shepherd in Panevėžys.
Back in 1995, on the northern facade of the former diocese building, Bishop Memorial plaque dedicated to K. Paltaroks.
In 2016, a monument was built in the western part of the territory to the Rev. K. Paltaroks. Panevėžys St. was used in the monument. The bell of the Trinity Church, lifted from the church bell tower in 2002.