DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     November 22, 1999     vol. 10, no. 221


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      Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we spotlight each member of the Conclave in alphabetical order. We find this necessary as our dear Sovereign Pontiff Pope John Paul II grows older, clinging to hope, as we join him, of seeing the light of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart with the dawn of the new millennium - the Jubilee Year 2000. How much longer this 264th successor of Peter has left on this earth only God knows for sure, but His Divine Mercy is evident in allowing him to be with us this long for he truly is a saint for our times, truly Christ's Vicar on earth in these waning days before the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Time of Peace, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the New Pentecost, the Second Advent, the Age of the Holy Spirit. What 1999 will bring we have no idea, nor does anyone else, but with John Paul II at the helm, we feel much more secure in knowing God's Will will be done. Nevertheless, we want to preview the future Pope whether that be soon or much, much later, for no one lives forever and eventually one of those prelates will be selected as the 265th successor of Peter. This will give the reader a better insight into the man whom the Holy Spirit will move the conclave to choose. Thus we bring the reader vignettes on each cardinal in alphabetical order gleaned from the Catholic Almanac, The Official Catholic Directory, Inside the Vatican and other sources.

128.   Cardinal Vincentas Sladkevicius, M.I.C.

        Cardinal Vincentas Sladkevicius, a priest of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate is the Archbishop emeritus of Kaunas in Lithuania. He was born in Zaslai, Lithuania in the township of Guroniai on August 20, 1920. He attended a Jesuit high school in the Diocese of Kaunas which prompted him to follow his heart in studying for the priesthood with the M.I.C.'s He was ordained a priest on March 25, 1944 and assigned various pastoral duties for his Order while attaining his Doctorate. Eight years after ordination, his studies complete, he was assigned as professor of Dogmatic Theology at the Major Seminary in Kaunas.

        On November 14, 1957 Pope Pius XII named him Titular Bishop of Abora and Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Kaisiadorys, being installed on Christmas Day the same year. Two years later the local communist authorities refused to recognize his episcopal appointment, forcing him to retire to a remote parish under house arrest for thirteen long years until the Consistory of June 28, 1982 when Pope John Paul II elevated him to the cardinalate and three weeks later made him Apostolic Administrator to the Diocese of Kaisiadorys. Cardinal Sladkevicius received the tiutlar church of the Holy Spirit alla Ferratella. In April 1988 his fellow bishops elected him President of the Lithuanian Episcopal Conference and the Holy Father tabbed him as Archbishop of Kaunas on March 10, 1989. On May 4, 1996 at the age of 76 he resigned his post because of age, retiring in his home diocese at Valanciaus 7, 30000 in Kaunas, Lithuania.

November 29, 1999       volume 10, no. 226


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