09/18/2013, 00.00
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Australian Church dedicates Missionary Day to Mongolian Catholics

All of the country's dioceses take part in fundraising campaign on behalf of Asia's youngest Catholic community. Mgr Padilla, apostolic prefect in Ulaanbaatar, brings his testimony, impresses Australian Catholics who will "do everything for this mission, which really deserves it."

Brisbane (AsiaNews) - The Australian Catholic Church has decided to help the young Catholic community of Mongols for the upcoming World Mission Day,

From now until 20 October, offerings, prayers and volunteer work will go to help the young Asian Church, established 20 years ago with less than 500 faithful at present.

As a sign of gratitude, Mgr Wenceslao Padilla, apostolic prefect in Ulaanbaatar, travelled to Australia to talk about the challenges of his mission.

The prelate is a Mongolia veteran. A missionary with the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, he led the way to the country's evangelisation more than 20 years ago.

Along with three other brothers, he began a long journey that has borne fruit; yet many problems persist in the country.

David McGovern, director of the Catholic Mission for the Archdiocese of Brisbane, met him along with other faithful.

"We have heard an inspirational story of building a Church structure from scratch," McGovern said.

"The bishop faced [. . .] many challenges" like the "Mongolian weather for example" and a complex social situation in a country "struggling with alcoholism, domestic abuse, minimal government social services and extreme poverty."

In light of the situation, "Bishop Padilla called for support of the young Church which now has 50 missionary Sisters and 21 priests."

The prelate is currently in Newcastle. Later, he will travel to Sydney, Adelaide and Perth where he will thank people for the help they have provided and continue to bear witness to the evangelisation of Mongolia.

"Volunteers for Catholic Mission have been inspired by what they heard and will go out through the archdiocese to spread the word," McGovern said.

Through generous and faithful donors, the Catholic Mission has supported the Mongolian Catholic Church since day one, he added, and provided help it deserves.

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