06/02/2016, 11.57
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First Mongolian priest "to help believers strengthen their faith"

by Mbumba Prosper-B., Cicm

This August 28 Joseph Enkh-Baatar will be ordained a priest in the Cathedral of Ulaanbaatar. The small local church pray for him, "so he will be a pastor according to the will of the Lord Jesus, and can live his faith in full". Francesca, 36 : "I hope he will live his vocation fully, and never look back. He will be a great help for all of us".

Ulaanbaatar (AsiaNews) - Deacon Enkh Joseph is set to become the everfirst Mongolian priest. He will be ordained priest in Ulaanbaatar on August 28, 2016, by His Excellency Bishop Wenceslao S. Padilla, CICM, Prefect of the Prefecture Apostolic of Ulaanbaatar.

This event is of utmost significance to the young church of Mongolia. Established in 1992, it has barely more than a thousand baptized members, some of whom are no longer practicing. Having a native Mongolian priest will certainly stir up enthusiasm and a sense of “ownership” in our believers, for a church that has long been branded as “foreign”.

Enkh Joseph was ordained deacon on December 11, 2014, in Daejeon (South Korea), where he had his seminary formation. He came back to his homeland last January. Since then he has been visiting all the parishes – spending at least a month in each – as part of his exposure and pastoral experience.

Preparatory activities are underway for this awaited event. Praying for Enkh Joseph’s future ministry has become customary for church goers, in all parishes. On Trinity Sunday the small catholic community of Erdenet (a quasi-parish, 370kms from the capital Ulaanbaatar) prayed that the priest to be “may be a priest according the Lord Jesus’ will, and that he may live out his faith”. A novena prayer will be observed nine (9) days before the ordination day.

A catechesis about the priesthood is being taught, and expectations are being collected from believers, for Reverend Enkh Joseph to get an idea of what people are expecting of him. When asked what would be the contribution of Enkh Joseph as a first native priest, Francesca, 36, says “he will help his fellow Mongolians strengthen their faith, and will be a great asset in spreading the Catholic faith in the country (Mongolia)”. She also wishes that he (Rd. Enkh Joseph) “may be true to his calling, and may never turn back”.

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