Last December, the Court of Appeals in Albany decided unanimously that the local Lithuanian community should not get back the church that was closed down in 2007. Constructed on funds provided by Lithuanian emigrants, the church is up for demolition.
Over the past years, Lithuanian residents of New York have been gathering outside the closed church for community events.
The Lithuanian community had submitted a petition signed by nearly 4,000 residents to the city's cardinal, asking to revise the decision on church closure. However, they did not receive an answer.
After starting his US visit on Wednesday, Gelūnas visited the Museum of Modern Art in New York, met with filmmaker Jonas Mekas, prominent opera soloist and director at Metropolitan Opera Regina Resnik, who has donated her husband Arbit Blat's art collection to Lithuania.
The minister is scheduled to meet with top management and executive director of Jewish Science Institute YIVO Jonathan Brent and Lithuanian artists living in New York.
During a trip to Chicago, he will attend a meeting of Lithuanian honorary consuls to the US, Canada, and Mexico and deliver a speech there. He is also planning to participate in the 50-year anniversary of the Lithuanian foundation, meet with representatives of US and Canadian Lithuanian communities, visit the Lithuanian World Center in Lemont and Chicago Art Institute.
Gelūnas is expected to be back in Vilnius on Sunday.