Inspired by the HLI 18th Asia-Pacific Congress on Faith, Life and Family (ASPAC) held in Astana, Kazakhstan in September 2011, the Archdiocese of Astana has been hosting an annual “Holiness of Life Week.” This year, it will be held on March 19-25, said Archbishop Tomash Peta, Archbishop of Astana, and the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Kazakhstan, the main host for the 18th ASPAC. Archbishop Peta was in Manila recently for the Pastoral Visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines. With the full support of the Archbishop, the activities are being coordinated and organized by Father Pawel Blok, a Franciscan who has been a great friend and partner on the mission of Human Life International in Kazakhstan.
With the theme, “Family as a Gift of God,” the main event of this year’s celebration is a series of seminars on life and family in the different towns of the Archdiocese of Astana. Evgeniya Samborskaya, Instructor on Natural Family Planning and famed defender of life from Kiev, Ukraine, will be special guest, Fr. Pawel said. Around 70 people are expected to attend the main event.
Topics to be addressed at this year’s event are the family based on the Catholic Church’s teachings, healing conflict in marriage and the family, the global anti-life agenda, and the Culture of Life vs. The Culture of Death.
In the future Fr. Pawel added, he hopes to have their seminar become a national congress, to be attended not only by people from their Archdiocese but from throughout the country.
“We join Father Pawel in praying for the success of the Holiness of Life Week is Astana,” said Father Shenan J. Boquet, president of Human Life International. “Archbishop Peta, Fr. Pawel and their team have begun something great, and we pray that the Holy Spirit can bring healing to a nation devastated by decades of anti-life policies and practices.”