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|South Korea – Archbisop Hon Tai-fai meets the Salesian Family|
(ANS – Ulaan Bataar) – At the beginning of July the Church in Mongolia celebrated its twentieth anniversary having begun on 10 July 1992 with the arrival of the first three Catholic missionaries belonging to the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Celebrating the occasion in the capital Ulaan Baatar, was also Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-fai SDB, Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
He was present together with the Prefect Apostolic of Mongolia, Mons. Wenceslao Padilla, the Nuncio Apostolic in Korea and Mongolia, Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla and the Bishop of Daejong, Korea, Bishop Lazzaro You. The celebrations lasted several days, but the most significant event was the solemn Mass on Sunday 8 July, celebrated in the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul in Ulaanbataar, at which Archbishop Hon Tai-fai presided.
The following day 9 July with Fr Andrew Tin, Rector of the Salesian house in Ulaan Baatar and Fr Francis Phuong, Archbishop Hon Tai-fai went to the Salesian house at Darkhan, in the north of the country and there in the parish church of Mary Help of Christians with many parishioners present celebrated Mass and blessed a statue of Don Bosco’s dream at nine years of age at the side of the church. He also attended a concert in his honour.
He gave a short talk to the missionaries and encouraged them in their task: “You are in the front line and we are trying to back you up.” Then after speaking about the role of the missionary as a man of God and about the value of formation, Archbishop Hon Tai-fai mentioned inculturation: “don’t try to reproduce the west in the east, but give the faith roots in oriental culture.”
Then after returning to Ulaan Bataar he flew to South Korea.
At present in Mongolia there are 81 Catholic missionaries from 22 different countries and 13 Congregations including the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. Starting from zero in 1992, the number of Catholics has reached over 800 baptised. And even though so far there has been no formal vocations ministry in a church too young for this, two young Mongolians are studying for the priesthood in Daejong.