Mongolia - The Catholic community grows
(ANS – Ulaanbataar: 26 February 2007) - The Catholic community in Mongolia is growing also outside the limits of the capital Ulaanbataar. It has been announced by the Prefecture Apostolic of Mongolia – and reported by the Fides Agency- that on 7 April during the Easter Vigil 23 candidates including children and young people will be baptised and bring fresh life to the small Catholic community in the city of Darkhan, an industrial centre to the North of the capital. Looking after the little community is a Salesian priest, Fr James Cheruwathur, who has been working there with two other confreres for some time. This event, with the new young baptised represents the first important fruits of their pastoral work. “As soon as we arrived here we began meeting the people, in particular to make contact with the young people. The Lord has done the rest,”, he says. The event is a sign of hope for all the Catholic community in Mongolia, which today numbers 370 faithful. Mgr. Wenceslao Padilla, the Prefect Apostolic, notes that “the Church is putting down roots throughout the country as is demonstrated by the new mission stations in the cities of Darkhan, Erdenet and in another Province to the Southwest of the capital. The missionaries are increasing and at present there are religious from all over the world: they are a great sign of the universality of the Church and their witness is very valuable.” In addition Mgr Padilla notes that “the gradual opening up of Mongolia to democratic values and to the outside world is making more room for the pastoral work of the Church and for evangelisation.” At present in Mongolia there are 56 missionaries, both male and female, from 14 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.