Syte Reitz

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world…….

Browsing Posts in Lithuanian

Švenčiausios Mergelės Marijos Rožančius mp3

or

Lithuanian Rosary mp3

catholic-woman
In honor of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th, here are some free mp3 downloads of the Holy Rosary prayed in Lithuanian – useful for praying the rosary in your car, on your iPhone, or while you jog.

I recorded these prayers for my Mama, who is 92, and who recently suffered a stroke and a heart attack.  She also has severe vision impairment, so an audio Rosary is something she really wanted.  Please pray for my Mama, for my Dad (Tėtis in Lithuanian), who passed away last summer after Mama’s stroke, and for our whole family.     

DOWNLOAD MP3s:

There are 5 MP3s:

These recordings are copyrighted and are only for free distribution with acknowledgment.
English “How to Pray the Rosary” pdf is also available at https://sytereitz.com/2013/10/how-to-pray-the-rosary/ .

MP3 #0 begins with “Svenciausios mergeles Marijos Rozancius….” This track goes ~80 minutes with continuous rosary, doing ALL the 20 mysteries in sequence.

slide1 CLICK HERE TO LISTEN #0, ALL 20 mysteries, 80 minutes, 35 MB.
To download mp3, right click above link and “save link as.”

MP3#1 begins with “Dziaugsmingos Paslaptys…” This track goes ~20 min with 5 Joyful mysteries, customarily prayed on Monday and Saturday.

slide1 CLICK HERE TO LISTEN #1, five Joyful/Dziaugsmingos mysteries, 20 minutes, 9.6 MB.

To download mp3, right click above link and “save link as.”

MP3#2 begins with “Kancios Paslaptys…” This track goes ~20 min with 5 Sorrowful mysteries, customarily prayed on Tuesday and Friday.

slide1 CLICK HERE TO LISTEN #2,five Sorrowful/Kancios mysteries, 20 minutes, 9.6 MB.

To download mp3, right click above link and “save link as.”

MP3#3 begins with “Garbes Paslapyts…” This track goes ~20 min with 5 Glorious mysteries, customarily prayed on Wednesday and Sunday.

slide1 CLICK HERE TO LISTEN #3,five Glorious/Garbes mysteries, 20 minutes, 9.5 MB.

To download mp3, right click above link and “save link as.”

MP3#4 begins with “Sviesos Paslapyts…” This track goes ~20 min with 5 Luminous mysteries, customarily prayed on Thursday.

slide1 CLICK HERE TO LISTEN #4,five Luminous/Sviesos mysteries, 20 minutes, 9.3 MB.

To download mp3, right click above link and “save link as.”

Check back for text of the above prayers, coming soon!

Related Posts:

Lithuanian Rosary Prayers…

How to Pray the Rosary

How to Pray the Rosary – Mobile PDF – Syte Reitz

Rosary for the Bishop

Praying the Rosary- As Pertinent Today As Ever

Experiences as mom led Madison woman to make Rosaries

 

Košeliena

No comments

Hey, Syte, have you quit blogging about politics?

No, there’s a very political post in the pipeline- coming very soon.

But meanwhile,

Košeliena- a Lithuanian favorite

First, let’s pronounce it- Kaw’-sheh-leah-nuh (sort-of).

While up north , Rolf and I decided to make some Košeliena.
This resulted in a Facebook post of the simmering Košeliena:

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and another Facebook post of Rolf playing his guitar on the porch with our puppy Pepper, while the Košeliena simmers:

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Which inspired many “likes” on Facebook, and a request from my cousin Phil Skabeikis to post the recipe for his wife Marian.

So here we go- the recipe, followed by some photos.
Hope you enjoy.

For those who are not into cold aspic Lithuanian dishes, this same recipe produces a phenomenal pulled pork which can be served hot (in which case peeled quartered potatoes can be added for the last 2 hours of cooking).

Koseliena 1

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Siesta while the koseliena simmers!

Siesta while the koseliena simmers!

... 6 hours simmering... let's go for a walk!

… 6 hours simmering… let’s go for a walk!

6 hours of of simmering all done!

6 hours of of simmering all done!

The dissection starts...

The dissection starts…

This is what you throw away (or feed to your dog!) (or what REAL FARMERS eating REAL KOSELIENA used to eat back when.)

This is what you throw away (or feed to your dog!) (or what REAL FARMERS eating REAL KOSELIENA used to eat way back when.)

Using the best tidbits...

Using the best tidbits…

Vegetables and broth.

Vegetables and broth.

Lots of meat in the bottom of the dish.

Lots of meat in the bottom of the dish.

Straining the vegetables out (remember to pick out and discard little bones!).

Straining the vegetables out (remember to pick out and discard little bones!).

Doesn't hurt to eat some of the pork while it's hot... this job takes all day after all, and it's dinner time!

Doesn’t hurt to eat some of the pork while it’s hot… this job takes all day after all, and it’s dinner time!

Finally finished with all the dissecting!

Finally finished with all the dissecting!

Spread some of the strained vegies on top...

Spread some of the strained veggies on top…

We're getting there... ladle on the broth (the broth can be thickened with unflavored Knox gelatin if it's not thick enough to gel in the fridge - usually not needed).

We’re getting there… ladle on the broth (the broth can be thickened with unflavored Knox gelatin if it’s not thick enough to gel in the fridge – usually not needed).

All done!

All done!

Side view...

Side view…

Pat down the top to submerge veggies...

Pat down the top to submerge veggies…

Into the fridge overnight.

Into the fridge overnight.

Serving up... first, scrape off the layer of fat on top...

Serving up… first, scrape off the thin layer of fat on top…

Cut out a slice (or unmold the whole thing onto a serving dish).

Cut out a slice (or unmold the whole thing onto a serving dish).

Looking good...

Looking good…

Finally ready to eat!  Too bad we didn't have Lithuanian black bread to go with it this time.  Home made potato salad almost as good!

Finally ready to eat! Too bad we didn’t have Lithuanian black bread to go with it this time. Home made potato salad almost as good!  Don’t forget LOTS of lemon and some salt.

 

YUM!!!

YUM!!!

 

Praying the Rosary- As Pertinent Today As Ever

Slide4May 13, 2014: In honor of Our Lady of Fatima, the Lady of the Rosary

A Personal Story

I don’t make a habit of baring my soul; conservative Catholics learn to hold what’s important close to the heart.

But last month, when fellow Serra Club member and friend Mary Uhler, Editor of the Madison Catholic Herald,  asked to interview me on why I make rosaries, it was time to crystallize my thoughts and to tell this particular story. It is a story illustrating how God works very quietly, yet powerfully in people’s lives today.

Most of us, if we reflect back on our lives, particularly on difficult or anxious times in our lives, will realize how God was actually walking along with us in our pain, was limiting our suffering, and was putting that suffering to good use.  He was definitely answering our prayers, provided we prayed.  This is the brilliance of God’s redemptive plan; that he transforms the evil perpetrated by Satan into good, provided we invite His help.  And what better invitation to God

Our Lady of Fatima can there be than the Rosary, the prayer which contemplates the life of Christ through His Mother Mary, whom He shared with us from His cross?

Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, May 13th.  This miraculous appearance of Our Lady in 1917 in Portugal is one of the most famous appearances of Our Lady, which skeptics would be hard-pressed to refute, given the remarkable evidence.  The miracles of Fatima were witnessed by 70,000 people, and were documented in the press.  The messages of Fatima predicted World War II and the Soviet domination of Russia.  Pope John Paul the Great, now Saint John Paul, attributed his survival of a near-fatal shooting on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima in 1981 (May 13), to Our Lady of Fatima.

And what was the message of Our Lady of Fatima?
In this apparition, the Blessed Mother declared herself “I am the Lady of the Rosary.”
The central message was to pray, to devote ourselves to the Holy Trinity, and to pray the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the war.
At Fatima, Our Lady gave us the Fatima prayer, which is often incorporated into prayer of the rosary:

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.

My Story- What the Rosary Has Done for and Means to Me

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Slide1Here is the story Mary Pubished in the  May 8, 2014 issue of the Madison Catholic Herald, in the Mother’s Day section: Visit the Catholic Herald to see the article, or read an extended version below, which includes numerous photos.

Thank you so much Mary, and thank you so much Catholic Herald!

Extended Version

Why do I make rosaries, and what does the rosary mean to me?

The short answer is that I have discovered that the rosary is one of the most powerful ways that we can tap into the power of God, and I look for ways to share this discovery with others.

That might sound somewhat exaggerated and melodramatic, but those who are aware that historical battles have been won through the power of the rosary (such as Battle of Lepanto) might not be surprised that our own personal battles can be won through the power of the rosary as well.

Homeschooling Mom

Slide1

Copy of the Rosary made for me by my son

As a cradle Catholic I was taught to pray the rosary.  But my passion for the rosary, my desire to make rosaries, and my commitment to promoting prayer of the rosary began much later, while a homeschooling mother.

Our Holy Family Catholic Homeschoolers were being taught to make simple string rosaries at St. Michael’s in Dane many years ago, when my children, older than most in the group, took an interest, instead, in an old man sitting in the corner, quietly making chain rosaries for the Missions with a pair of pliers.

My 12-year-old son became so interested that he resolved to learn how to make chain rosaries, and eventually made a beautiful blue crystal chain rosary for me, a copy of which I still carry with me every day.

Experience in Hospital

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20 Decade Rosary (Olive wood from the Holy Land and St. Benedict Crucifix),made for son Chris when he was at seminary.

Soon after that, my son was struck by juvenile diabetes and was hospitalized, in very serious condition.  Since I stayed with him, the doctors asked me to wake him every hour all night long, to make sure that it was possible to wake him.

I lay on a cot next to him all night, but I doubt whether I got one minute of sleep.  I prayed the rosary in my pocket, which he had made for me, over and over again, and did not stop all night.

In the morning, the resident doctor told me that we were finally out of the woods, but that my son had come within a hair’s breadth of going in to a coma.

Back then, with less technology, the job of keeping oneself alive daily with juvenile diabetes by balancing insulin injections, food and exercise was a challenging one, and my 13-year-old son no longer had time to make rosaries.

I’m not sure why, because I don’t generally think in these terms, but it dawned on me that Satan probably wanted to stop a young man from making rosaries.

My reaction was to get mad, resolving quietly to myself that Satan was not going to stop us; if my son cannot make rosaries, I will make them instead.

Making Rosaries

So, I got my son to teach me, and I started making chain rosaries myself.

At first I made Mission rosaries to send overseas, and then I realized that Madison, Wisconsin also had a need for rosaries, so I made rosaries for anyone who was interested, free of charge.

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Rosaries made for Cathedral Parish

Today I still provide free rosaries for my parish (Cathedral parish in Madison), which welcomes new parishioners with a gift package containing among other things, a rosary.

Importance of Prayer

But there is more to the story. First of all, the anxiety and terror a parent naturally feels in the face of something like juvenile diabetes (JD) was gradually dispelled.

Our son has not had one single emergency room visit (common for most JD patients) now in 14 years, and is healthier and happier than most people are.

I now realize that when we walk with God, ordeals are not terrifying; they become easy.  What should be living hell, instead becomes a joy.

Prayer of the rosary, especially before the Blessed Sacrament at Adoration, has become an essential part of my spiritual life, and of my survival of the challenges of this life. In any crisis, prayer before the Blessed Sacrament brings resolution.

Rosary for the Bishop

Our family’s involvement with the rosary also took some other interesting turns.  Five years after I started making rosaries, I attempted to round up 31 women from the Madison Catholic Woman club to pray the rosary for our Madison Bishop Morlino, who was being attacked unfairly in the local media.

logo_blue_reflectedI wanted to organize one rosary to be prayed for Bishop Morlino each day of the month.  My son Tom, then an 18-year-old college student with an interest in computers, suggested that we put the Rosary for the Bishop program up online to facilitate membership, and he built a website for me –Rosary for the Bishop, http://rosaryforthebishop.org/.

Pretty soon, we added another great brave outspoken bishop to the website, who was in need of prayer. This was Bishop Nickless from Sioux City, Iowa.  We became aware of Bishop Nickless through our other son Chris, who was building and managing the local Catholic radio station in Sioux City.

Spreads Thoughout the World
Slide1

It was not long before Tom decided to add all the US bishops and our Pope to the Rosary for the Bishop website.  From there on, the Rosary for the Bishop website soon took on a life of it’s own.

Out of the blue, we got a request from the editor of the UK Catholic Herald to put all the UK bishops up on the website, and Rosary for the Bishop was featured in the UK Catholic Herald.

Slide1We also got requests from people in South Africa, from Australia, South America, and from various places in Europe.  Today, the Rosary for the Bishop website organizes global prayer of the rosary for bishops, with email reminders available, and with maps and statistics, for over 1580 members from 26 countries, 258 dioceses and from 1,001 parishes, who have prayed over 297,000 rosaries for 453 bishops globally since then.

Bishop Morlino now has over 500 rosaries prayed for him each month, and has had over 45,000 rosaries prayed for him through this program since it began in 2005.

It’s even become a challenge to keep the website updated with all the changes in bishop appointments, and we are currently looking for volunteer help.

My son, who was forced to quit making chain rosaries at age 12, is now a professional web developer who has facilitated global prayer of the rosary in a way I never imagined possible.

Rosary in Lithuanian

Over the years I became more and more aware of the power of the web.  With my Lithuanian roots, I had learned my prayers as a child in Lithuanian, and still pray the rosary in Lithuanian.

St. John Paul the Great Praying at Lithuania's Hill of Crosses, 1993

St. John Paul the Great Praying at Lithuania’s Hill of Crosses, 1993- his mother was of Lithuanian ancestry.

 

When I searched for Lithuanian prayers on the web, I was amazed to find that very few were available, and no audio was available at all.

The 50-year occupation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union following World War II had almost eradicated religious material from print, and this shortage was reflected online.

So I asked my son Chris, then operations manager of Catholic Relevant Radio in Madison, to record some Lithuanian rosary prayers, and I posted those on my website at www.SyteReitz.com.

Later, as this old lady became more “wired,” and as I got requests from people through the website, I recorded more Lithuanian prayers myself, and posted those as well.  Today, quite a few visitors download Lithuanian rosary prayers from my website.

(See free Lithuanian Rosary mp3s, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 2-16)

Rosary Resources

I also collected rosary resources from the web in English for my website.  I combined instructions on how to pray the rosary with sacred art and with Bible quotes for each of the mysteries, creating a detailed instruction manual.

Slide1A staff member from our parish suggested that I should turn that into a downloadable pdf for mobile devices, so guess what, my favorite web developer Tom was pressed into service again!

The free downloadable How to Pray the Rosary Mobile PDF is one of the most downloaded pages at https://sytereitz.com/2013/10/how-to-pray-the-rosary-mobile-pdf/ .

A Prayer for Children and for Popes

To me, the Rosary is one of the most powerful ways that Jesus Christ, through His Church and through His Blessed Mother, offers us to tap into the power of God through fervent prayer. The rosary invites us to prayer on many levels.  Beginning each decade with the Our Father given to us by Christ Himself, the rosary continues with other beautiful traditional Catholic prayers, which teach us many truths of the Faith. The rosary inspires us to reflect on the life of Christ, and ultimately invites us into contemplative meditation. The brilliance of the rosary is its adaptability to whatever level of spiritual maturity or frame of mind we are in, ranging from panicked repetition to collected meditation.  It is equally appropriate for children and for Popes.   With God, all things are possible, and our rosaries are always as close as our pockets.

The Beauty of the the RosaryDSCN5865sm

The realization that Jesus Christ is just as present, accessible, and willing to be involved in our lives today as He was 2,000 years ago, via something I carry in my pocket or count on my fingers, is something that I treasure and that I want to share with others.  Much as I value my own personal interaction with God, the cumulative talents of the Church and her tradition, as encompassed in the Holy Rosary, surpass any prayer I could personally compose.

Anybody who listens to Bach instead of composing their own melodies will be able to appreciate the availability of beautiful majestic prayer such as the Rosary, that comes from the Church’s 2000 year tradition and has received the stamp of approval from our Blessed Mother.

Even my husband Rolf, who is not Catholic, has encouraged our family in our devotion to the Rosary.  His support and his company at events like the Madison Capitol Rosary Rally for Religious Freedom have been most appreciated.

My favorite Rosaries

ChrisRebeccaRosary

Chris and Rebecca’s Rosary

On a personal note, some of the rosaries most precious to me include the rosary my son first made for me at the age of 12, the 20-decade Holy Land olive wood rosary I made for another son when he attended seminary, the rosary made by me which was buried with my brother 3 years ago, and the sterling silver and Swarovski pearl and crystal rosary I recently made for my son and his wife for their wedding, which they designed for use with their future children during family prayer.  I also treasure the thought that some of the other rosaries I have distributed might be instrumental in bringing others closer to Christ and to His Blessed Mother.

More Photos of My Rosaries:

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Stainless Steel Rosary

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Brown Cocoa Bean Rosary

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Rosaries for Cathedral Parish

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Large black religious habit rosary

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Fire polished glass, olive wood

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Rosary pliers and wire

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Fire Polished Glass

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Olive Wood

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Brown Cocoa Beans

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Blessed Mother Centers

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Sterling Silver, Swarivski Crystal and Pearl

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Sterling Silver, Swarovski Crystal and Pearl

 

 

How to Make a Rosary

Here are some resources that will help anyone interested in making wire rosaries:

Our Lady’s Rosary Makers HOW TO VIDEOS:

Part 1 –
Part 2 –
Part 3 –

TOOLS: Pliers and Wires
Rosary Maker’s Guide – http://www.rosarymakersguide.org/plierswires.htm

PDF instructions w/ diagrams
http://www.olrm.org/publications/pdf_files/wire_inst.pdf

How to Pray the Rosary: https://sytereitz.com/2013/10/how-to-pray-the-rosary/

How to Pray the Rosary mobile PDF :   http://www.sytereitz.com/2013/10/how-to-pray-the-rosary-mobile-pdf/

 

Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for Us!

 

 

 

 

 

What Do You Do With a Man Called Putin?

Putin’s Chilling Antics

Putin’s recent military incursions into the Ukraine, exhibiting as they do a terrifying similarity to Hitler’s invasion of Poland prior to World War II, have put the entire Western World on edge.

President Obama seems at times at a loss of what to do (despite the fact that he has more flexibility after the election), and Putin seems to be running circles around everyone with his deceptions.

5317b12ab9704.preview-620What is a nation to do?
What is the United States to do?
What is NATO and the European Union (EU) to do?
How do we avoid provoking World War III, yet help and defend the hundreds of Ukrainians who are dying for freedom right now?
How far will Putin dare to go?
What does Putin want?

When In Doubt

When in doubt, ask an expert.
Ask someone who has been there, who has done that.
In this case, ask Lithuania.

Slide1Lithuania

Lithuania might be a small nation, but it has a record of strength, determination and success that is matched by few.
Lithuania was the first nation to revolt against Soviet control in 1991, when the dissolution of the Soviet Union began.
Since then, Lithuania has grown it’s economy, prospered, joined the European Union, joined NATO, has headed the European Union, and is adopting the Euro in 2015.

Lithuania is the mouse that roared, the David that slew Goliath.  Or Mighty Mouse!

Lithuania-Russia

This amazing success was recently recognized in The Economist, and was recognized by President Obama as well.

Got Putin’s Number

Lithuania knows well the ex-Soviet giant which enslaved her for 50 years, and under whose shadow Lithuania has managed to achieve the remarkable prosperity described above.

The long-feared risk that Russia could use energy as a political weapon has encouraged20140503_gdc831 Lithuania to come up with  energy alternatives. Lithuania has long been preparing for tactics from Putin such as those being used in the Ukraine today.

Not only has Lithuania allied herself with Western nations politically and economically, but by 2015, Lithuania will also have the potential for complete energy independence from Russia, which supplies the bulk of Europe’s energy needs.

So Lithuania not only has Putin’s number, but Lithuania knows how to anticipate Putin’s thinking and how to strategize in self-defense.

Comrade Putin

Vladimir_Putin_-_2006Vladimir Putin was an intelligence officer for the KGB prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Later, he became head of the Federal Security, an arm of the former KGB.
When the Soviet Union was dismantled in 1991, it is doubtful that Vladimir Putin was instantly transformed from master of KGB espionage (political, economic, military-strategic and disinformation-based) into magnanimous defender of truth, liberty and freedom.

Lithuania knows the tactics Putin is familiar with, understands the psychology of the KGB, and has demonstrated a success record in defeating the giant out of whose shadow Lithuania has emerged.
Lithuania has not only emerged from the shadow successfully herself, but works to offer the same opportunities to other nations.  Upon joining the UN Security Council, to the dismay of Moscow, Lithuania embarked on discussing the Ukraine.
Lithuania has courage.

Lithuanian Ambassador in Madison

Lithuania’s ambassador to the United States, Žygimantas Pavilionis,  just visited Madison last week, to honor the 25th anniversary of Madison’s Sister City relationship with Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital.  Madison was the first city to form Sister City ties with Vilnius.  Madison did this during Lithuania’s struggle for independence, one year before Lithuania declared independence from Soviet domination in 1991. So Madison is a very special friend to Lithuania.

Ambassador Zygimantas Pavilionis

Ambassador Zygimantas Pavilionis

Ambassador Žygimantas Pavilionis gave a seminar at UW, and was guest of honor at a Madison-Vilnius Sister Cities banquet at the Madison Club, which we were fortunate to attend. Ambassador Pavilionis was interviewed by Mary Jo Ola at Channel 3000 News:

Ambassador Pavilionis calls Putin’s actions in the Ukraine “the convulsions of the KGB in the Kremlin” which are destined to fail because the “corrupted KGB regime is afraid of it’s own people… it is afraid the same revolution will happen in the Kremlin… Being occupied by Soviets for 50 years, we (Lithuanians) know that it doesn’t work.  If the people go to the streets, if fear is disappearing, that’s the end (for Soviets). … Putin is making a strategic mistake.”

Sanctions? – Ambassador Pavilionis does not think that sanctions will be enough.  We will have to support Ukrainians by military means, because unfortunately, Russians will go to the line we draw.  But at the same time, we  also have to be strategic, we have to say whether the EU will accept the Ukraine as a member state, whether NATO will be enlarged to the east, and if we don’t have that strategic clarity, those autocracies or corrupted powers, they will just be moving forward.  We have to stop them.

 

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Soviet tank crushing peaceful Lithuanian demonstrators, 1991

Ambassador Paviolionis has been involved in the government and development of Lithuania since the freedom-fighting days, when Soviet tanks crushed Lithuanian freedom demonstrators under their tracks.  He is a fan of Ronald Regan and of Saint John Paul the Great, who together facilitated the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Lithuanian Ambassador in Washington

Ambassador Pavilionis lives in Washington, D.C., in the second oldest embassy building in Washington, which has housed a Lithuanian ambassador and flown a Lithuanian flag  for 90 years.  The embassy was maintained and the Lithuanian flag was flown, at times without funds and without heat,  throughout the 50 year Soviet occupation of Lithuania.  The United States and the Holy See were the only two places in the world who completely recognized Lithuania during the Soviet occupation.

This Lithuanian embassy is 2.5 miles, or 9 minutes away from the White House.  So when it comes to consulting on what to do with Putin, where should President Obama go?

Lessons on Putin-Handling

Lithuania is the mouse that roared, the David that slew Goliath, even better, the Putin-whisperer.
So what do we do about Putin?
Consult Lithuania.
It takes a Lithuanian to stand up to Putin.

Syte Reitz encounters Vlad Putin in London at Madame Tussaud's

Syte Reitz encounters Vlad Putin in London at Madame Tussauds

..

Above All, Pray!

2-jpII_04 - 1993

St. John Paul the Great Praying at Lithuania’s Hill of Crosses, 1993

 Apsaugok, Aukščiausias, tą mylimą šalį,
Kur mūsų sodybos, kur bočių kapai!
Juk tėviška Tavo malonė daug gali!
Mes Tavo per amžius suvargę vaikai.
-Maironis

(See free Lithuanian Rosary mp3s, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 12-8-16)

 Small show of solidarity :600 American Troops sent to Lithuania:

We were privileged to meet and speak with Ambassador Pavilionis:

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Tom Reitz, Syte Reitz, Zygimantas Pavilionis, Rolf Reitz
Madison Club, Madison, WI

Education in Lithuania:

Business in Lithuania:

 

Lithuanian Easter Eggs

At our house, Easter egg making continues through the Easter season, as we resurrect our rusty old skills and the eggs we make start looking better and better.
Then, we save the best eggs, dry them out, and display them as Easter decorations in subsequent years.
See Easter Monday, 2012.
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This year, my son Tom created an unbelievably beautiful egg, rich with Easter symbolism and with traditional Lithuanian artistry .
Here is his post from facebook:

Carved Easter Egg

This year, my mom Syte and I revived a hobby from years past: making Lithuanian Easter eggs! There are several methods and many traditional designs.

Here are a few photos of an egg I made. The egg was dyed brown by boiling it with onion skins. Carving the surface with a blade exposes the white shell, which is how I made this two-colored egg.

If you’re wondering how it stands on its own, this particular egg was dyed several years ago, and the inside has dried into a small hard ball. With a bit of effort, you can settle the ball at the bottom of the egg so it balances upright.

Christ is risen, indeed He is risen. Alleluia and Happy Easter!

Non-commercial use is welcomed with attribution (please leave the “tomreitz.com” credit intact).

BTW, Tom’s talents as a Web Developer are at least equal to his talents in Lithuanian Easter Egg making.  Anybody who needs a customized website should look him up at his company, ReitzInternet.com.

Tom’s Egg, Easter 2013:

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One face of the egg depicts Christ, the Lamb who was slain, but has been raised. Alleluia!

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.The other face features a blooming Easter lily.

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Top view of the egg, which resembles a host in a monstrance.

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A simple design on the bottom of the egg.

 

 

Working on My Prayer Life…

So, in an effort to work on my prayer life for Lent, I got out the Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows that I got from an Italian nun while visiting the Holy Steps in Rome.

What is Truth?
What is Truth?
The Holy Steps, now in Rome,  are the
steps from Pontius Pilate’s Praetorium,
on which Jesus Christ stood, bled, and
was questioned by Pilate, after the
Scourging at the Pillar and the Crowning
with Thorns..
The steps were moved from
Jerusalem to Rome by Saint Helena,
the mother of the Emperor Constantine.
Anybody, including me, can now climb
those steps reverently on their knees,
and can touch (as I did) their rosaries

or chaplets to the places where Christ’s blood stained the steps.
Well, not literally; there is protective glass.

That very moving experience prompted me to write an article on Truth upon my return to Madison,  based on the question Pontius Pilate asked of Christ, “What is Truth?”
This Lent, I thought it would be a good idea to get out the Chaplet of Seven Sorrows which I had touched to the Holy Steps, and to use it.
What better way to prepare for Lent than to meditate on Christ’s life through the sorrows suffered by His Blessed Mother, the person who loved Him most?
Here’s how the prayer works (and if you don’t have a chaplet, you can do it with the photo or with the text):

Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows

also known as

Rosary of Seven Dolors

Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows

Instructions

1. Opening Salutation:

v.  O God Come to my assistance.
r.  O Lord make haste to help me.
Glory Be to the Father….

2.  Announce the First Sorrow –Meditation – Our Father – 7 Hail Mary’s and the Strophe are repeated after each sorrow:

Strophe:

My Mother, share thy grief with me,
And let me bear thee company
To mourn thy Jesus’ death with thee.

First Sorrow- The Prophecy of Simeon
Second Sorrow – The Flight into Egypt
Third Sorrow – The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple
Fourth Sorrow – Mary Meets Jesus carrying His Cross
Fifth Sorrow – – The Crucifixion
Sixth Sorrow – – Mary receives the body of Jesus From the cross
Seventh Sorrow – The body of Jesus is placed in the tomb

3.  Announce Second Sorrow – Repeat as above for all Seven Sorrows

4.  After completing the Seventh Sorrow add 3 Hail Mary’s in remembrance of the tears Mary shed because of the suffering of her Divine Son.

5.  Concluding prayers:

v. Pray for us O sorrowful Virgin
r. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ

O God, at whose Passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon,
a sword of sorrow did pierce through the most sweet soul of the
glorious Virgin and Mother Mary; grant that we, who commemorate
and reverence Her sorrows, may experience the blessed effect of Thy
Passion, who lives and reigns world without end. Amen.

 

Lithuanian Rosary Prayers…

December 8, 2012
Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(See Also, back by more popular demand, free Lithuanian Rosary mp3s, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 12-8-16)

Back by Popular Demand, More on Lithuanian Rosary Prayers:

Some rosary fans have requested individual recordings for each of the prayers.
The previous post on Lithuanian Rosary Prayers included all prayers on one recording.
The individual recordings provided here will facilitate repetition of one prayer at a time for practice.
Click on each link to listen to the prayer in Lithuanian.

THE SIGN OF THE CROSS, Lithuanian

 POPE BENEDICT XVI

THE OUR FATHER, Lithuanian

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GOD THE FATHER – Cima da Conegliano

  THE HAIL MARY, Lithuanian

OUR LADY OF GRACE at San Giovanni Rotondo
-Padre Pio’s favorite

THE GLORY BE, Lithuanian

Sanctuary Ceiling
Holy Redeemer Church, Madison, WI

  THE APOSTLES CREED, Lithuanian

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The Synaxis of the holy and the most praiseworthy Twelve Apostles
14th Century

  THE HAIL HOLY QUEEN, Lithuanian

The Coronation of Mary
Vatican Museums

 

  ONE DECADE OF THE ROSARY, Lithuanian

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For Lithuanian prayer texts, as well as names of the Mysteries of the Rosary in Lithuanian, see the previous Lithuanian Rosary post.

More Coming Soon: Instructions on How to Pray the Rosary…

Join Rosary for the Bishop and/or see World Participation Map.

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A Lithuanian in the News!

Ruta Meilutyte, a 15 year old Lithuanian, won the Olympic women’s Gold for 100 m breaststroke at the London 2012 Olympic games.

Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pronouncing the Lithuanian name:

Audio :  Ruta Meilutyte 1      Ruta Meilutyte 2

Ruta graveolens, or Herb of Grace, or Common Rue, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Rue

Ruta:  “rue” (as in the plant) –tah’.
or  Roo-tah’.

Meilutyte: may‘- loo (as in look without the k) –tea’ – te  (pronounced like tare without the r)
0r  May‘-lu-tee’-teh

Meaning of the name

Ruta is Lithuanian for the rue, a flowering plant used in herbal medicine and in homeopathy.

Meilutyte is the unmarried female version of the male last name Meilutis, or the daughter of Meilutis.
Meilutis is a derivative of the word Meile, which means love.

 

 

 

 

 

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Now that Obama’s Buddy (Putin) is Back

or

Putin Sworn in as Russia’s President Amid Protests

or

“Attempts to shut people’s mouths with the help of a police baton are senseless and extremely dangerous.”

My photo op with Vlad Vladimirovich Putin

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Putin Summarized

So let’s summarize this “democratically elected” Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin’s background…
  • This guy belonged to the KGB.
  • He was in charge of surveillance of the student body of Leningrad State University.
  • For Russia, he’s interested in “sovereign democracy,” with no similarity to the American or British political systems.
  • Putin sought to increase Russian military presence in the Arctic.
  • He signed the Kyoto Protocol, under which Russia was not faced with any mandatory cuts, but other nations were.
  • He resumed long-distance flights of Russian strategic bombers.
  • Putin criticized the United States’ “monopolistic dominance in gobal relations.”
  • He opposed the U.S. missile shield in Europe.
  • Vladimir sought to strengthen Russian ties with the People’s Republic of China, to participate in joint Russian-Chinese military exercises.
  • Many experts believe Putin is trying to set up an Asian version of OPEC with Red China as an anti-NATO bloc.
  • Putin helped Iran with the construction of its first civilian nuclear power facility.
  • He enjoyed warm relations with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.
  • He re-established stronger ties with Fidel Castro’s Cuba.
  • Putin openly asserted tough new role for Russia in international politics, resembling the old role of Russia; the toughest speech from a leader of Russia since the time of the Cold War (Munich speech, 2007).
  • Putin Criticized the policies of the U.S. and NATO, condemning the “unipolar model of international relations as flawed and lacking moral basis.”
  • Putin condemned the hypocrisy of countries trying to teach democracy to Russia.
  • Putin maintains state-owned and state-controlled television.
  • Gorbachev accused Putin of suppression of news media and or election rules counter to the democratic ideals he has promoted.

Putin’s Recent Power

Putin sworn in

Putin was President of Russia for two consecutive terms, from 2000 to 2008.  Due to constitutionally mandated term limits, he could not run for a third term.  His right-hand man Medvedev ran instead, and appointed Putin as his Prime Minister for the past 4 years.  Now, after “sitting out” one term, Putin is again eligible for two more terms, this time 6-year terms, through 2024. This “election” has effectively put Putin (and his right-hand-man Medvedev) in control of Russia for up to 24 years.

Protests Against Putin – “For Fair Elections”

Moscow Rally, December 2011

Putin’s potential return was protested last winter by young urban professionals and successful middle class Russians through several demonstrations from December 2011- March 2012.  Demonstrators (up to 160,000 per event) demanded “Fair Elections”  after Putin’s candidacy was announced. About 1,000 people were arrested.
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Crackdowns Continue

Helmeted police clubbing demonstrators

On May 6, 2012, one day before Putin’s inauguration, 20,000 demonstrators protested and tried to march toward the Kremlin.  Helmeted riot police beat back the crowds with batons and detained more than 400 people. More than 100 of them under age 27 were issued draft notices, the Interfax news agency reported.

Today, May 7, 2012, about 1,000 protesters  tried to protest along Putin’s  motorcade route to the Kremlin.
Putin’s response was unprecedented security measures in the center of Moscow, where streets were closed to traffic and passengers were prevented from exiting subway stations.  Over 700 people have been detained.

 

The Passing of the “Nuclear Suitcase”

Putin's "Nuclear Suitcase" (1999)

The Kremlin ceremony of passing the “nuclear suitcase” from outgoing leader Dmitry Medvedev to Mr Putin was overseen by Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, news agency Interfax reported.

Widely seen as a relic of the Cold War stand-off between Moscow and Washington, the suitcase accompanies the Russian president on all his foreign trips.The Australian

“Back in the U.S.S.R.”

USSR flag

In the light of above facts, how can anyone call Russia a democracy today?
We are back in the USSR.

I come from a Lithuanian family displaced by Soviet (U.S.S.R.) occupation, annexation, deportation of 120,000 people in 1940, followed by attempted sovietization of Lithuania.

I can only hope and pray for the Russian people today, as well as for the rest of us. An old Soviet brand of autocracy seems to be creeping back into the government of Russia, against the wishes of the Russian people, and under the guise of democracy.  Putin continues to quote democracy, while defying all democratic principles shamelessly.

Attempts to shut people’s mouths with the help of a police baton are senseless and extremely dangerous. –  Gennady Zyuganov, Communist Party leader.

When even a Communist Party leader criticizes Putin’s heavy-handed autocracy, you know tyranny is afoot.
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Tyranny:  arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.
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Lithuania’s Take on Putin

Lithuanian Flag

Lithuania, previously a small, trampled neighbor of Russia’s,  now an independent  sovereign nation, has had much experience living at the foot (and at times under the foot) of  Russia.  For Lithuanians, watching developments in Russia is essential for survival.
The Lithuania Tribune has an interesting analysis, Now that Vladimir Putin is back, by Girnius.
Girnius points out:

Girnius

The ex-state security officer (Putin was in the KGB) is inclined to see hidden enemies and conspiracies where others only see coincidences. The level of suspicion of Putin and his supporters will only increase. Now that the opposition has become more active, it will not stop, maybe even get stronger, especially if the opinion of some observers happens to be true that the protests in response to the fabricated election results showed to the Russian people that the king was naked, that, despite the talks about the ruthless government of Putin and their own qualms, the Kremlin was vulnerable.

Even in the most favourable conditions it is naive to expect good relations with Russia. The imperial mindset is rooted so deeply in the ruling layers that Moscow simply doesn’t know how to communicate normally with its neighbours, especially the post-Soviet countries.
The caution expressed by Girnius towards Putin is not evident the the US.
As President Obama continues to pal up with Vladimir Putin behind out backs, half of America naively continues to support Obama.
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Obama and Putin

Last month, President Barack Obama’s private message to Putin was overheard:
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Apparently President Obama has secret plans with Vladimir Putin for nuclear arms reduction.  Plans in  defiance of the will of the American electorate, since Obama tells Vladimir secretly that he will “have more flexibility after his election”.
Obama’s secret defiance of the American electorate constitutes a traitorous violation of the Constitution of the United States, and a violation of President Obama’s oath of office, to protect that Constitution.
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America is Asleep

Despite evidence of Barack Obama’s secret and traitorous alliance with Vladimir Putin, half of Americans participating in Gallup polls continue to support Barack Obama for President.
So, unless some straw-grasping explanation for the invalidity of Gallup polls can be imagined (could Gallup be biased, like the bulk of the media?; or perhaps do conservatives refuse to participate in polls, thereby skewing the results?) – unless the validity of Gallup polls can be questioned,  it appears that America is asleep and is in complete ignorance of the dangers at our doorstep.

 

More Tyrants

Putin is not the only autocrat taking over and expanding powers of government in 2012.
The number of autocratic tyrants is increasing.

Election 2012;
Stay Tuned!

The November 2012 election will determine whether the United States reverses Obama’s present path toward expanding government power and increased spending.  Many interesting events are coming up very soon, which will determine America’s future:
  • The Wisconsin recall election June 5, 2012 – will determine on a State level whether expanding government or austerity will be chosen by the American people.  Wisconsin’s election will influence similar battles coming up soon in other States.
  • The Supreme Court decision on ObamaCare is also coming up in June — will President Obama’s largest attempt at expanding government control and mandates be upheld, or will it fail?  ObamaCare is also President Obama’s largest attempt at expanding Planned Parenthood and abortion.
  • The Republican Primary nominee should also crystallize in June; by June, Mitt Romney may have the 1144 delegates needed for the nomination.  If not, there could be a very unpredictable and exciting convention.
  • June also brings the release of the movie 2016, a movie produced by the producer of Schindler’s List, based on the New York Times best-seller by Dinesh D’Souza.  The movie documents theories of Barak Obama’s anti-colonialism (and his resulting hatred for America).  If this movie becomes a box office hit, it could landslide the election.
  • Finally, November brings the actual election, which will determine whether Barak Obama remains President of the United States.

One Less Tyrant

Obama's Flexibility

Let us hope, work, and pray that Election 2012 is a fair election, that Americans realize what is at stake, and that Vladimir Putin’s buddy Obama loses the traitorous “flexibility” he promised Vladimir Putin after the election, because Obama has been removed from office.

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The world needs one less tyrant. The world needs a model for responsible spending, a negation of the self-destructive abortion agenda, and a new and serious model for self-governance.  America, originally based on Judeo-Christian principles, still has the option to return to those Judeo-Christian principles and to provide that model for the world again.
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May God Continue to Bless and Guide America!

In London, I met Birute!

Such pleasant surprises when traveling– in London, I met Birute (an unmistakably Lithuanian name)!
Not only a pleasure to meet a fellow Lithuanian, but she loaned me some lovely Lithuanian books which contained some inspiring thoughts and poems —  a few photos of the pages below, for those who read Lithuanian.

For those who do not, I will post translations and more photos after my return to Madison.
Aciu labai, Birute! (Surasiu lietuviskus fontus sugrizus i Amerika).

God bless, and enjoy!

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