Nikodemas Rastutis

Nikodemas Raštutis

Father:  Jonas Raštutis Mother:  Ona Liatukaite
Born: 1 January or 6 February 1881 Zvingai Parish Lithuania
Religion: Roman Catholic. 
Occupation: Roman Catholic Priest
Died: 16 June 1947, Weiden Germany
Buried: Weiden City Cemetery, Priests Grave
Fr.Raštutis  studied in Palanga, finished the Samogitian seminary in 1903 and was ordained to the priesthood on November 2. From 1909-13 studied philosophy, sociology and such at Freiburg University, Switzerland. Having finished his studies in Palanga, he participated in a secret organization related to the distribution of books. In the Samogitian Seminary he was a member of the Friends of Lithuania. In 1903 he was assigned to the Pabirze vicarate where he maintained a relationship with the book distributors and helped them ship a large supply of books towards Mintauja. Suspected by the Russians of participating in the 1905 Samogitian Revolution, in 1906 he was moved to Pakruojis, in 1907 to Rokiskis. There he widely worked in the sobriety and Saules (Suns) societies, for which the Russians once again found him dangerous "to the czar and orthodoxy" in 1909. He had to therefore quickly move from there, but the governor of Kaunas would not grant him a new assignment. In 1909 he left to study in Freiburg. 

In 1913 he returned to Kaunas and worked in St. Casimirs Society, and he traveled to Vilnius, Seinai and elsewhere, where he organized Ateitininkai, Springtime (Pavasarininkai), Sobriety, St. Casimirs, Eastern (Ryto), Suns (Saules) and other chapters. In 1914 the Russians sent him out of Kaunas and in 1915 he was ordered to Russia. In 1915 he lived in Roslavas (in the Tvere District) and there organized the Lithuanian exiles. In March 1919 he returned to Vilnius and was pastor of Trinapolis (church) until 1922. He also served there as Bishop J. Matulevicius real estate administrator. In Trinapolis he ran a youth home/orphanage for Lithuanian children brought from Orenburg-Ckalovas. There he also founded a home for the elderly. 

From 1923 to 1927 he taught Lithuanian language courses at the Vilnius Lithuanian Teachers Seminary. From 1928 to 1932 he was founding (?)chaplain of the hastily formed Eastern (Ryto) Society. From 1925 to 1936 he did much work in the St.Casimir Society as their business manager. He was one of that societys founders. He organized chapters of the St. Casimir Society throughout the Vilnius Territory and Suvalkija. (The chapters numbered 476 wiith 18,000 members.) Raštutis, helping teachers, founded various reading rooms and, small libraries, organized kindergartens, schools and various courses. 

Raštutis was very familiar with the occupied Vilnius and Suvalkija territories and knew how to find trustworthy assistants. Sending out instructors, he would give them instructions and detailed information about working conditions in the area. Where the Polish occupation would create difficulties, he always sought that the unjustly accused would be acquitted. Besides that, Raštutis assisted other organizations: he was a member of the Vilnius Provisional Committee and belonged to the governing committees of the Eastern (Ryto), Sobriety and other societies. 

In Vilnius he maintained the St. Casimir Bookstore, which made sure that Lithuanians in the Vilnius Territory had access to Lithuanian books, prayerbooks and devotional items. His quiet but widespread and deep cultural work was known to the Vilnius spiritual powers and the Polish administration. Since he was a member of the Kaunas diocese, he avoided the threat presented by Bishop Jalbrzykowski and his assistants. Nevertheless, the powers that be in Vilnius tried many ways to get him out of the Vilnius Territory. 

The night of October 4-5, 1927, the Poles made a search of his room and sent him to the Lukiskis prison. From there he was deported to independent Lithuania along with another 12 Lithuanians on October 14. Under the auspices of
the pro-Lithuanian government National Union, Raštutis was allowed to return to Vilnius. During the repression of March 1936, Raštutis received a demand from the Vilnius governor L. Bocianksi to get out of the Polish territory within a few days. Raštutis, wishing to block his exile, sent a complaint to Warsaw, meanwhile leaving for a cure at Zakopane. However on the 2nd of November he was arrested and once again sent back to independent Lithuania.

Above Excerpt from a Lithuanian Encyclopedia article

It's unclear exactly what Fr. Raštutis did between 1936 and 1944. Fr. Raštutis went to Weiden Germany in 1944 according the a Registration Document that I obtained from the city of Weiden.  This document was filled out on 16 October 1944.  He Died at 10 Asylstrassen in Weiden on 16-June-1947 according to the Death Certificate.