The Mongolian Catholic Church ordained its first native priest with the support of Korean Catholics on Aug. 28 at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Father Enkh Joseph was ordained at a ceremony attended by about 1,500 people and led by Bishop Wenceslao Padilla, apostolic prefect of Ulaanbaatar.
"I hope Father Enkh can be a Good Samaritan to the people of Mongolia," said Bishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik of Daejeon in his congratulatory message.
"Mongolian people consider Catholicism to be a foreign religion," said Korean Father Francis Hur Woong, parish priest of St. Mary's Church in Ulaanbaatar. "But the ordination of Father Enkh will help them get closer to the church."
Father Enkh entered Daejeon Catholic University run by South Korea's Daejeon Diocese in 2009. After he was ordained deacon in 2014, he returned to Mongolia to prepare for his ordination.
The Catholic Church in Korea has a close relationship with the nascent Mongolian church by sending missionaries, offering medical services and building schools.
A group photo taken on the day of Father Enkh Joseph’s ordination at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Father Enkh (center left) wears a blue scarf. (Photo by The Catholic Times of Korea)