With this story about Gabrielius Edvinas Klimenka OP, Lay Dominican and theologian, the Vicariate of Lithuania, Latvia (Letonia) and Estonia is extending its hand towards deeper unity in the mission of preaching. They especially share this story with the Ukrainian and Russian Dominicans.
The Master of the Order writes in his letter on Dominican Laity and Preaching: “Lay Dominicans enrich the way in which the Order day by day must learn to ‘love the world’ to which we are sent to preach”. That is the vocation of Gabrielius Edvinas Klimenka, whose mother is Lithuanian, his father a Belarusian and his paternal grandfather an Ukrainian. (his biography)
Flying saucer or UFO
At the age of 12 Gabrielius read an article in a newspaper about an unidentified flying object and aliens landing in Voronezh, Russia. Since then he became interested in mysterious and inexplicable phenomena. Ancient and extraterrestrial civilizations, ghosts, vampires, magic, esotericism, the yeti, the Loch Ness Monster, the creation of the world, human evolution, real facts and science fiction – all these matters captured the teenager’s imagination. Gabrielius read books, played games, participated in the activity of Lithuanian Science Fiction Club, and started to create fantasy stories. He has written excellent stories and these stories have won various competitions
This hobby captivated Gabrielius greatly and that was the reason why the young creator neglected his studies. His teachers reproached him for not learning, but reading books during lessons instead. His mother was disappointed with her son’s behavior and asked him:
– What are you going to do in the future to earn your living?
The answer followed:
– I’m going to give lectures about aliens!
Search for God and call of God
In his early youth Gabrielius searched for God and considered himself to be a pagan or even a Satanist. A crucial turning point occurred in 1989, when his younger brother Eduardas (he was a practicing Catholic) provoked him to go to church. The brothers often debated on different approaches, and on that particular day the following conversation took place:
– Let’s go to church.
– No, only idiots go there.
– Are you afraid?
– I am not afraid.
– Prove it.
– Ok, I will prove it.
Gabrielius says: “I saw people going for Communion during the Mass. Then without feeling my legs, I went to confession and ran for Communion. The priest wanted to end the distribution of the Holy Sacrament, but noticed me and decided to wait for me. I received the Holy Sacrament for the first time after a long break since my childhood. At that moment I realized that God is here and I had found Him at last.”
From ufology to theology
One year later Gabrielius started his studies at the Catholic Theology Faculty of Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas. According to Gabrielius, God is the most unexplainable thing, even if you do believe in Him heartily.
Gabrielius: “I started to study, because I wanted to understand my faith and recognize God. I realized that I would find answers to the existential questions. I am not the kind of person who is satisfied with swimming on the surface. The knowledge of God was fundamental for me and I started to study zealously and forgot all about the paranormal phenomena for a time. I realized that my knowledge about God was very poor, I did not know Him. I saw only one possibility to satisfy the desire – to study. During the studies I was the chairman of the Students’ Scientific Society “Signum”. The purpose of the society was to improve the quality of studies, to increase students’ theological education, to increase their faith. Studies were the place, in which God touched me. Studies ripened my faith and gave me the desire to preach.”
Theology studies changed his approach to the interest in the paranormal phenomena. Knowledge and belief led him to develop a critical viewpoint and encouraged him to search for the truth – VERITAS. Although the interest in paranormal phenomena was no longer relevant, Gabrielius noticed that there is a great demand in the Church to speak about it. This topic is shrouded in superstition, myth and misunderstandings. In many cases there is a possibility to explain these things using the natural sciences, human psychology, historical facts. Theology, on the other hand, explains the activities of spirits.
All these things influenced the direction of his studies. His Bachelor of Theology Thesis was on The Role of Angels in Judeo-Christian Religious Culture, Compared with Other Cultures. His Theology Licenciate Thesis – The Problem of Usage of Esoteric Terminology in Catholic Pastoral Literature – is an interesting analysis of inaccuracies in works of solid and authoritative colleagues.
Preaching for heretics and members of various subcultures
Gabrielius felt the need to preach to society. He read theological, religious and scientific literature to receive a deeper and more fundamental knowledge. The young preacher represented the position of VERITAS in various discussions on the Internet and by writing articles.
Gabrielius and his friend, Dean of the Catholic Theology Faculty of Vytautas Magnus University Benas Ulevičius, founded the movement Army777, which was intended for youth from various subcultures (metalheads, goths, bikers and others, who believe and confess Jesus Christ)
Preaching for Christians and society
In recent years, Gabrielius’s articles have been published by Lithuanian Christian and secular media. The main feature of these articles is a critical approach to various media for heretical ideas which also become lucrative businesses. A number of articles about God, the Church and the faith are ecumenical and open to other denominations. These articles provoked discussions among readers with different opinions, discussions which moved into the social network Facebook, where Gabrielius himself discusses and defends the position of the Catholic Church.
Articles and publications made Gabrielius more broadly known, so Lithuanian National Radio and Television, Radio Maria, the Evangelical-Reformed Ecumenical radio station XFM often invite Gabrielius for conversations.
It is difficult to imagine the meetings of the Alpha course, organized by St. Philip and St. Jacob Dominican Priory, Mary’s school, the community of Postalfa and the Dominican Laity of St. Jacob without Gabrielius’ lessons. So the once proclaimed wish of a teenager to give lectures about aliens became true. His mother became more content and is proud of her son. The teachers are confused and set him as an example to others.
Gabrielius’ first book, Paranormal Mythbuster, was published in 2015. This book is composed of his articles that had been published on various websites. He supplemented and clarified the content, arguing with and indicating the sources. The book is written with great love and respect for the reader. The author provides information in a clear way so the reader can understand the book without any special knowledge. The professional assessment is that this is the first such comprehensive and authoritative book in Lithuania about the paranormal phenomena, encompassing a wide range of topics. On February 25–28, 2016 Vilnius hosted the 17th International Vilnius Book Fair, during which Gabrielius presented his book.
The second book, Angel – Mythical Culture Carrier, is currently being prepared for publishing.
It can be said that the activities of Dominican Gabrielius Edvinas Klimenka OP
are a battle against Cathars in the twenty-first century!
Congratulations to the Ukrainian and Russian Dominicans
and we are extending our hand towards deeper unity in our mission of preaching!
St. Dominic, pray for us!
Each Province/Vicariate is invited to share their stories and/or pictures with a next Province/Vicariate, if possible with a meeting. That Province/Vicariate invites the next Province/Vicariate, etc. For the Chain there is a route with a time table, which can be used. If every Province/Vicariate also sends their stories and pictures to the ECLDF website, we will create, in this way, a real chain of preachers of hope throughout Europe until the next Assembly October 2017 in Fatima.
Here you will find the announcement of the Chain and also an overview of all the contributions.