Updated: August 10, 2021 05:47 AM GMT
Bishop Giorgio Marengo of Ulaanbaatar (Photo: wikipedia.org)
As the Catholic Church in Mongolia marks 30 years of rebirth in the country next year, the mission is like the early days of Christianity, says Italy-born Bishop Giorgio Marengo, the apostolic prefect of Ulaanbaatar.
The work in Mongolia is “very similar to the episcopal ministry of the early Church. We know how the apostles in the early days of Christianity testified to the risen Christ in conditions of absolute minority compared to the places and cultures where they stayed,” Bishop Marengo told the Vatican’s Fides news agency.“For me, it is a great responsibility that brings me closer to the true meaning of the mission,” Fides quoted him as saying on Aug. 7. Ulaanbaatar, which covers the whole of Mongolia, on April 2, 2020.His appointment followed the death of Bishop Wenceslao Padilla, a Filipino and first prelate of Mongolia, in September 2018.
It is complex and sometimes hard work, but it does not discourage the missionaries … who live and testify to the Gospel here
Bishop Marengo leads a tiny community of some 1,300 Catholics in a country of 3.5 million.“It is complex and sometimes hard work, but it does not discourage the missionaries … who live and testify to the Gospel here,” Bishop Marengo told Fides.The Church was not active in Mongolia for many centuries, “which is why today, at a popular level, it is believed that it is something new, which has come from abroad in recent years,” he said.In 2022, Catholics will celebrate 30 years of the rebirth of the Church in this great Asian country, he said.
Bishop Marengo said that while evangelization is important, it is also equally necessary to focus on faith building
They run a daycare center and elementary school, centers for street children and disadvantaged youth and two technical schools. A vital service they provided is a safe water supply point at Shuwuu mission center that helps hundreds of families every day.Bishop Marengo said that while evangelization is important, it is also equally necessary to focus on faith building to help people grow in the faith.He also encourages missionary men and women to learn the local language, establish a relationship with people and try to understand their life and culture.Bishop Marengo has great admiration for a prophetic phrase regarding missionary commitment as famously spelled out by retired Salesian Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil of Guwahati in India: "We must whisper the Gospel to the heart of Asia."“I like to apply this image to Mongolia: the proclamation of the Word of the Gospel, with a whisper, is, therefore, a constant work of evangelization that requires to enter into an authentic relationship with people; and, by virtue of this authentic relationship of friendship, we can share what is most precious to us: faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.”