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Mongolia welcomes its first priest

ULAANBAATAR (SE): The Church in Mongolia welcomed its first locally-born priest, Father Joseph Enkh, who was ordained by Bishop Wenceslao Padilla, the apostolic prefect of Ulaanbaatar, at the Cathedral of Ss. Peter and Paul on August 28.

Fides reported that the new priest chose Deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow me (Like 9: 23) as his motto.

More than 1,500 people attended the celebration. Father Prosper Mbumba CICM called it a special moment for the Catholic Church in Mongolia and for the whole society.

The Congolese priest said, “The Catholic community in Mongolia, re-founded in 1992, today has just over 1,000 baptised members. The ordination of a native priest will stimulate the enthusiasm and sense of belonging among the Mongolians, towards a Church that has long been seen as foreign, with a faith brought by missionaries.”

The apostolic nuncio to South Korea and Mongolia, Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla, and Bishop Lazarus You, from Daejeon, South Korea, where Father Enkh spent his formation and seminary years, were among the guests of honour at the ordination ceremony.

Father Enkh was ordained a deacon on 11 December 2014 in Daejeong. He returned to Mongolia in January this year and since then has been working in some of the six parishes in the country.

He celebrated his first Mass in Ulaanbaatar on August 29.

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