Ulaanbaatar ( AsiaNews) -
Understanding that God is " Father and Creator ," understanding what
Catholics believe and what they want to proclaim to the world and what original
sin is. These
are the themes of the last meeting for Mongol catechists that took place in
early October in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. The
meetings are monthly and are used to form lay people of the small community of
Catholics Mongols who then will go to the various parishes to educate
catechumens of all ages .
The October lesson was opened as usual by Msgr. Wenceslao Padilla, Apostolic Administrator of the young Mongolian Church, and conducted by Sister Clara Lee SPC . The nun pointed out that "since the original sin committed by Adam and Eve, God has sent the world patriarchs , prophets, and in the end even His son to redeem mankind ." "This - she added - is the Good News that we proclaim to the world ."
According to the latest estimates, Christians of all denominations represent slightly more than 2 per cent of the Mongolian population, which is largely Buddhist with shamanistic beliefs. It also has a high number of non-religious people, almost 40 per cent of the total. Few Mongolians are Catholic (835 in 2012) but the number of baptised has now topped 900. At the same time, Catholics have set up facilities for orphans, the destitute and elderly, medical clinics in a country with a poor health infrastructure, as well as various educational and technical schools.
In 1992, when the first foreign missionaries (especially Filipinos) arrived, including the future Mgr Wenceslao Padilla of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, there were no parishes. A few months ago, there were four in the capital; now there are six, a sign of growth. In his pastoral letter marking 20 years of the Church in Mongolia, the apostolic prefect noted that, at present, there are 81 missionaries from 22 different countries. He also wrote that Mongolia's first two native seminarians were training for the priesthood in Daejeon, South Korea.