Mongolian church prepares for first native priest

Ordination will stimulate the enthusiasm and sense of belonging among local people, says Congolese missionary

Mongolia
June 2, 2016
The ordination of Mongolia's first native priest this August will be an event that is "particularly important" for the nascent Catholic Church there, an African missionary working there says.

"This event is particularly important for our young Church, re-founded in 1992 and today has just over a thousand baptized, Father Prosper Mbumba, a Congolese missionary in Mongolia, and member of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary told Agenzia Fides.

"The ordination of a native priest will stimulate the enthusiasm and sense of belonging among the Mongols, towards a church that has long been seen as foreign," he said.

Joseph Enkh, is to be ordained a priest in Ulaan Baatar on Aug. 28 2016 by Monsignor Wenceslao Padilla, Apostolic Prefect of Ulaan Baatar, according to Agenzia Fides, the information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies.

Joseph Enkh was ordained a deacon in 2014 in Daejeong, South Korea, where he was studying to be a priest. He returned to Mongolia in January.

Since then he has been serving in various of the six parishes of Mongolia. The country has 20 foreign missionaries and 50 nuns from 12 congregations.

"Christians pray a lot for their future priests and parishes are promoting catechetical meetings, to offer people a better understanding of the priestly ministry," Father Prosper told Agenzia Fides.

Many Catholics have written to the future priest "to let him know that they are proud of his vocation and have trust in his presence and his work," he said.

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