History of “Caritas Nur-Sultan”

Development of “Caritas” in Nur-Sultan cityis tightly bounded with Catholic Church implementing their mission in Kazakhstan. According to history Churchs charity at the beginning fulfills in parishes later this important part took upon themselves monastic orders and congregations. Secular charity organizations appeared only in XIX century.

Foundation of “Caritas” connected with encyclical “Rerum Novarum” published in 1891 by Pope Leo XIII which gave strong social impulse forlaity activity in Catholic Church. To coordinate theiractivityin 1897 Freiburg archbishop’s secretary Lorenz Verthmann established in Germany first diocesan focal point named “Caritas”. Originally organizations basic activity was providing help to Italian season works called “serving in the spirit of caritas pastoralis”.

Later word “Caritas” was applied to all similar types of serving and all organizations of similar type appearing in another countries. After World War II different national “Caritas” operated almost in every country of Europe and America. For coordination of their activity in 1950 in Vatican was created international confederation “Caritas Internationalis” which is member of Conference of international catholic organization and Popes council “Corunum” which has advisory status in UNESCO and other UN organizations, Council of Europe and Organization of African Unity.

2 march 2012 Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed new Regulations and internal order for “Caritas Internationalis”. New Regulations and Internal order do notrelate to national and diocese “Caritas” which save their autonomy beingdependent from bishops conferensions. New documents save alltheses from Pope Johann Paul II at the “Last Supper” in 2004 that defined public, juristic and canonic status of “Caritas” and more fair emphasized part of Holy Thronein approval of ethical or creed texts distributed by “Caritas”. In Kazakhstan “Caritas” began to work in the last 90s.

In Nur-Sultan “Caritas” was initiated by archbishop Tomasz Peta with special decree from 13.06.2001. Since 13.05.2003 this charity organization is known as “Caritas-Astana” and registered by the government in 29.07.2003. First director of “Caritas-Astana” was f. Livio Lodigiani (2003-2013). And from 27.09.2013 to the present time the director is Father Leszek Smakosz SM.

The chronology will be updated, as the history of our “Caritas” continues to be written every new day.

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