20th anniversary of missionary presence in Mongolia
July 13, 2012
Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, traveled to Mongolia to attend a special July 8 Mass in commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of a Catholic presence in the landlocked Asian nation.
Following the end of Communist rule (1921-90), Mongolia adopted a constitution recognizing religious freedom in 1992. A Catholic missionary presence commenced that year, and two years later, the first parish was established.
In 2003, Father Wenceslao Padilla, the Filipino priest who had directed the mission there from its beginning, was ordained a bishop. The following year, a Mongolian Bible was published, and in 2008, the nation produced its first vocation.
“Celebrating the birth of the first mission in Mongolia reminds us that we are called to walk in this world with the light of Christ, to live our ethical and moral life to the full according to the Gospel, seeking to be the light and the good news for one another,” said Bishop Padilla.
In 1991, there were no Catholics in Mongolia, according to the Fides news agency. There are now four parishes, four seminarians, and 1,000 Catholics in the nation of 3.1 million.
- The first twenty years of the Church in Mongolia (Fides)
- Mongolia: Church slowly takes root (CWN, 2/16/12)