For teaching religion to children, Father A. Šeškevičius was sentenced on September 9, 1970, by the People’s Court of Molėtai Rayonto one year in a strict-regime prison camp. Having completed his sentence on September 9, 1971, he appealed to the ecclesiastical administrator of the Diocese of Kaišiadorys requesting that he be appointed to a parish. The commissioner of the Council for Religious Affairs refused to issue him a registration certificate and ordered him to find work in some other occupation, supposedly because he had failed to obey the Soviet laws. Then Father Šeškevičius appealed to the chairman of the Council of Ministers of the LSSR:
"If I have supposedly violated Soviet laws, then I have served my sentence and have even received a good charactrization. In addition, when I was released my rights were not curtailed, thus why am I being punished once again and even lifelong without any trial? Even the worst tyrants, when punishing people, specify the article of the violated law, the duration of the sentence, and the agency for appeals. I alone am denied this knowledge. Is there any state in this world which would permit such treatment of its subjects? How can this be reconciled with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which has been signed by the Soviet Union?
"By preventing me from carrying out my priestly duties, you are forcing me into transgression, for I have not ceased being a priest and I shall have to perform at least some of my priestly functions; but the state will consider this to be illegal work, and prison will again await me.”
Father Šeškevičius did not receive a reply to his appeal. He then appealed to the Procurator’s Office of the LSSR, but from this agency too no answer was forthcoming. Having almost lost hope, Father Šeškevičius appealed to the Procurator General of the USSR and to Academician Sakharov’s Human Rights Committee. Twice he personally met with the Council for Religious Affairs and spoke with its dignitaries. Eventually he was promised a position in the Diocese of Telšiai.
In this way, even after having completed his undeserved sentence, Father Šeškevičius was a victim of discrimination for another half year. The Soviet authorities were trying to crush the spirit of the priest and thus to intimidate the others so that in their fear they would obey the authorities rather than God.
To the joy of Lithuania’s believers, there are still many spiritual leaders who are faithful to their calling, who are determined to make any necessary sacrifice for the good of men’s souls and the propagation of the Kingdom of Christ.