Father Agustin Steigvilas, MIC
(08.28.1924 – 07.15.2012)
“I am very grateful to God and the Blessed Mother for all the graces received in my life, since I left Lithuania until I came to the beloved Argentina and everything else that I received until now.”
Father Agustin Steigvilas, MIC, was born on August 28, 1924 in Uzliaukiai, Lithuania. He was the fifth son of a peasant family. He first received his education on the Christian faith from his mother, Barbara.
In 1942, he entered the Seminary of Telsiai, where he studied philosophy until 1944, when he was forced to stop his studies after his country was occupied by the Soviet regime.
On September 8, 1944, he left his homeland and went to Eichstaett, Germany. There he went to a seminary that had accepted other Lithuanian seminarians. The Bishop allowed him to remain in the seminary and on December 8 the rector of seminarians entrusted the seminarians to the protection of the Blessed Mother.
On June 29, 1949, he was ordained priest and was appointed Parish Vicar in Feucht and chaplain to the Franciscan Sisters. A month after his ordination, he went together with other priest friends in a thanksgiving pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France.
In 1950, he was transferred to Traunstein, where he lived in a nursing home and was a chaplain to the religious community. In 1951, he went to Wehnem, northern Germany, where he provided spiritual care to Lithuanian refugees for a year. In 1953, he returned to southern Germany, near Bamberg, where was proving spiritual care at a nursing home.
In 1955, he was transferred to Rome to continue his studies in Christian Spirituality at St. Thomas Aquinas University. There, on September 15, 1956 he entered the novitiate of the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
On September 15, 1957, he professed his first vows and three years later, his perpetual vows. During the time he was in Rome after his first vows, he also studied Theology at Pontifical Lateran University. On January 21, 1959, he went to Argentina and was welcomed by Fr. Juan Duoba, MIC, Superior of the Marian House in Avellaneda, where he was assigned.
He provided pastoral care to the Parish and School Mother of Mercy in Avellaneda, primary to the Lithuanian community. He also served the Argentinean community by participating in numerous organizations and movements, youth accompaniment, and visiting the sick. On the Parish land, he built a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes. From 1985, he became parish priest at the Mother of Mercy Parish.
In 1997, he was transferred to the religious house in Rosario, where he served as Vicar of the St. Casimir Parish, where he primarily visited the sick and brought them Holy Communion as well as blessed the families and their homes. He also visited monthly the Mother of Mercy Parish to celebrate Holy Mass for the Lithuanian community and to participate in their council meetings.
In 2006, he was transferred back to Avellaneda where he continued his pastoral work, visiting the sick. He celebrated there his 60th ordination anniversary and his 50th anniversary of religious life in the Congregation of Marian Fathers.
On June 17, 2012, he came back to the religious house of the Marian Fathers in Rosario, after living a few months in the Mary Queen Home in Buenos Aires. There he lived the last weeks of his life, as a testimony of Christian acceptance of suffering and a total surrender to the Lord, remaining in constant prayer, especially the Rosary and blessing everyone around him.
On July 15, 2012, he returned to the Father’s House, completing his testimony of surrender to Christ and His Church.
Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him.