Members Bishops Emeriti + Archbishop Lionginas Virbalas SJ

Archbishop Lionginas Virbalas SJ

Archbishop Lionginas Virbalas SJ

Rotušės a. 14A
LT–44279 Kaunas

Tel. (+370-37) 40 90 26
Fax (+370-37) 32 00 90


Born 6 July 1961
Ordained 30 May 1991
Consecrated 10 August 2013
Archbishop emeritus of Kaunas since 1 March 2019

Born on July 6, 1961 in Biržai, in a Catholic family. After the graduation of a secondary school Nr. 2 in Biržai, studied at the Institute of construction engineering in Vilnius (renamed in Gediminas‘ technical university in Vilnius).

1981-1983 did his military service in the Soviet army. In 1983 L. Virbalas tried to enter the Interdiocesan seminary in Kaunas, but because of obstacles posed by the Soviet authorities, the rector of the seminary could finally not accept him in. For more than two years he was working as a sacristan in Linkmenys (district of Ignalina) and studied philosophy and theology in an underground seminary.

In 1986 he entered the seminary and in 1989 he became member of the Society of Jesus. L. Virbalas did his novitiate during the studies in the seminary, because religious communities were not yet allowed to function publicly.

On May 30, 1991 he was ordained and went to Rome to continue his studies. He studied spiritual theology at the Pontifical Gregorian university, graduating in 1994 with a degree of licentiate in sacred theology. During his studies, Fr. L. Virbalas SJ also worked for the Lithuanian service of the Vatican Radio.

1994-1995 he was the assistant to the master of novices in Austria, simultaneously attending lectures of exegesis of the Holy Scripture of the Faculty of Catholic theology of the University of Innsbruck.

1995-1997 Fr. L. Virbalas SJ was a superior of the house of Jesuits in Kaunas and rector of St. Francis Xavier church. He was also teaching at the seminary of Kaunas.

In 1997 he finished his Jesuit formation in Salamanca (Spain) and in 2003 made his final vows, becoming a professus of the Society of Jesus.

1998-2005 and 2008-2010 he was rector of St. Casimir church of Vilnius. 1998-2005 he taught spiritual theology at the seminary of St. Joseph in Vilnius.

2005-2008 Fr. L. Virbalas SJ was an assistant of the General secretary of Lithuanian Bishops‘ Conference. In 2009 he was entrusted with a coordination of translation of Liturgical Hours into Lithuanian language.

Fr. L. Virbalas SJ was a member of editorial board of Bažnyčios žinios, member of the Council of priests of the archdiocese of Vilnius and member of the scientific editorial board of the Lithuanian General Encyclopaedia.

2010-2013 he was a rector of the Pontifical Russian college in Rome.

On June 6, 2013 Fr. L. Virbalas SJ was appointed the bishop of Panevėžys. On August 10, 2013 he was consecrated in Christ the King cathedral of Panevėžys and began his episcopal service to the diocese immediately.

2014-2019 he was a vice-president of Lithuanian Bishops‘ Conference and chairman of the Commission for Liturgy, 2015-2019 - a chairman of the Commission of social communications of Lithuanian Bishops‘ Conference.

On June 11, 2015 His Excellence Msgr. L. Virbalas SJ was appointed the archbishop of Kaunas.

In 2005 he was awarded a Medal of commemoration of January 13.

On March 1, 2019 Pope Francis accepted the resignation of archbishop Lionginas Virbalas SJ.


Apart from his mother tongue Lithuanian, speaks Italian, Spanish, Russian and German. He has translated and edited several books, cooperates in the Catholic media.