ASPAC Bangkok an Overwhelming Success
ASPAC, Asia’s largest pro-life conference sponsored by Human Life International (HLI), has just concluded to great fanfare in Bangkok, Thailand. Held every two years, ASPAC Bangkok 2017 registrants hailed from 21 nations around the world, Malaysia to Kazakhstan, Croatia to India. This year’s theme was: “Put Out Into the Deep: Defending Life and Family, Hope of the Dying World.” Among the 350 persons present were Cardinal Emeritus of Thailand, His Eminence, Cardinal Michael Michai Kitbunchu, three Archbishops, two Bishops, 30 priests, 18 nuns, 14 seminarians, and the rest lay leaders. Also present was Fr. Andrea Ciucci, Coordinating Secretary for the Pontifical Academy for Life in Rome, who gave the keynote address in the stead of His Excellency, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia. (Regrettably, the Archbishop, who is the President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, was unable to attend.) This lecture was streamed live on Facebook. HLI is also most grateful to Caritas Thailand and the Camillian Fathers, which helped organize the event.
Fellowship and Prayer
Each day began with mass and ended with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This grace is the fuel by which mountains are moved! Then each day was filled with life-affirming lectures. Over three days, ASPAC featured a total of 20 talks, not including mass homilies, plus 11 additional “breakout”sessions. The latter were comprised of a time period where multiple topics were addressed simultaneously in different conference rooms by different speakers. Attendees could therefore choose the sitting most helpful to their pro-life, pro-family mission needs. Examples included: “The Importance of Conscience in the Modern World and Defending the Family and Faith Against Erroneous Views of Conscience” by Dr. Joseph Meaney,
HLI’s Director of International Coordination, to “Cultural Revolution, How it Threatens Family and Society…We Should Care”, by HLI Rome Director Fr. Francesco Giordano. HLI hopes to soon post a number of these talks online, for the benefit of those who were unable to visit Bangkok.
One key benefit of all ASPACs, including ASPAC Bangkok, is the opportunity to exchange ideas, form bonds and mutually support one another, the intent being to forward the mission of Faith, Life and Family. Our “HLI family” is comprised of both first time and repeat ASPAC visitors, some of whom have attended many ASPAC conferences going back years.
ASPAC 2019 Venue Announced
At the concluding ceremonies, ASPAC organizer and HLI Director of Asia and Oceania, Dr. Ligaya Acosta, made the long-awaited announcement. The next ASPAC will be held in Kerola, India. Sixteen Asian locations have hosted ASPAC, beginning in 1994.
Interestingly enough, ASPAC is on the same wavelength as our Holy Father, Francis. He, too just lent his support to the Church in Asia, visiting Myanmar and Bangladesh. On the return to Rome he, too, expressed a desire to visit India soon, as well.