After World War II, the Catholic Youth Association, Ateitis, formed chapters outside of soviet occupied Lithuania, mainly in the United States, Canada, Europe, South America and Australia.
At first many activities of Ateitis took place in parish facilities, but in the Chicago area, it became evident that there was a need for a dedicated facility. Thus, in 1977, Ateitis Foundation was formed to raise funds.
A suitable parcel of land in Lemont IL, with a building that could be adapted for the association’s purposes, was purchased from the Vincentians in 1979 by ten generous member families and donated to the Ateitis Foundation. Lithuanians now know this major center throughout the world as Ateitininkų Namai, the home of members of Ateitis – Ateitininkai.
Ateitininkų namai jų pirkimo metu, 1979 metais
Currently, the Ateitininkų Namai is a hub of activity, not only for the youth of Ateitis, but also for other Lithuanian-American organizations, such as the American Lithuanian Roman Catholic Federation and the Baltic Jesuit Project.
During the seasons of Advent and Lent, the center is used for retreats, various presentations, and educational seminars. Alumni of Ateitis also use the facility for their meetings, retreats, family celebrations, concerts, and other cultural events. A library and stored archival material are also located at the facility.
Most importantly, the youth of the Ateitis Association—hundreds of children and high school and college students—gather here regularly for meetings, seminars, special events, and celebrations, ranging from formal to festive. They deepen their knowledge of their faith and of the five major principles of their organization, which foster a love for their Lithuanian heritage and traditions and guide them in all aspects of their lives: religious, cultural, social, and familial. They are educated and nurtured by means of various activities to become good Catholics and good citizens.