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Lithuanian bishop dies

Jonas V. Kalvanas Jr., 54, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lithuania, died April 25 in Taurege.

Kalvanas, a former neurologist and psychiatrist, was a second-career pastor who graduated from the Evangelical Lutheran Seminary in Riga, Latvia, in 1989. When his father died early in 1995, Kalvanas took his place as the church's bishop.

Kalvanas led the reopening of many churches, served as editor of the church's journal, taught church administration at the University of Kalipeda, and took an active role in the Lutheran World Federation.

He was involved in dialogues with Scandinavian Lutheran and Anglican churches and was a major force behind the denomination's sister church relationship with the Lutheran Church­
Missouri Synod.

Kalvanus received the Medal of Lithuanian Independence from President Valdas Adamkus for his contributions to the cause of
freedom.

Until a new bishop is elected, two church pastors, Darius Petkunas and Saulius Juozaitis, are leading the Lithuanian church.

Attending his funeral at Taurege Evangelical Lutheran Church, where the bishop served for 19 years, were thousands of Lutherans, including Donald Maier, former bishop of the ELCA Northwest Washington Synod, and Hans Dumpys, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Diaspora.


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