Library Hosts Exhibit about Jesuits in Lithuania

Jul 8, 2010

      The University of Scranton Weinberg Memorial Library will host a traveling exhibit regarding Jesuits in Lithuania from July 6 to August 13 in the fifth floor Heritage Room. There will also be a small exhibit featuring content about former University faculty of Luthuanian descent. Among those who will be featured in the library’s exhibits are Rev. Juozas Venckus, S.J., Dr. Anthony Kucas and Sister Virginia Vytell, C.J.C.

      Born in 1897 and ordained in 1927, Rev. Venckus lectured in bacteriology at The University of Scranton during the 1940s before leaving for Georgetown University. In addition to research on cancer and the nervous system, he conducted studies on bees. Because of his interest in entomology, the scientific study of insects, Rev. Venckus spent extensive time in South America. He is the author of “The Basis of Communism.”

      Dr. Kucas, born in 1900, taught in secondary schools throughout Lithuania, and was an outspoken leader against the forced enlistment of Luthuanian youth into the German army. He was later arrested and sent to Stutthof concentration camp. After the Allies liberated the camp, Dr. Kucas immigrated to the United States soon thereafter and taught at The University of Scranton from 1947 to 1970. He authored one of the few books in English on Lithuanian Americans titled “Lithuanians in America.”  

      Sister Vytell was born Mary Vaitelavage in Scranton, where her Lithuanian father settled to work in the area’s coal mines. After entering the Sisters of Jesus Crucified and receiving her degree from Marywood University, Sister Vytell taught in schools staffed by the religious order, eventually teaching the Lithuanian language, as well as history and culture, to graduate students at The University of Scranton. Her book, “Praise the Lord All You Nations,” includes chapters on Lithuanian history. She served the Sisters for 73 years before her death in 2003.

      The exhibit is on display free of charge during library hours in the library’s fifth floor Heritage Room.

      For further information, please contact Michael Knies, associate professor and special collections librarian, at 941-6341.

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