For the first time in 1000 years, a Mongolian priest has been ordained!

For the first time in 1000 years, a Mongolian priest has been ordained!

The ordination of a native priest, an extremely rare event in the steppe country.

Monday, August 29, Joseph Enkhee-Baatar gave his first mass at the church of Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul in Oulan-Bator. “It is a historic event,” assured Bishop Wenceslao Padilla, Apostolic Vicariate of Ulaanbaatar at Weltkirche katholisch.

“Encountering God in these vast prairies”

Father Joseph Enkhee-Baatar now grew up in the heart of the Mongolian steppe, in the capital of Övörkhangai province, Aimag. The capital is modest because it has 20,000 inhabitants, including 21 parishioners, including new priests. His bishop described a studious and studious young man: “He wanted to enter the seminary as soon as he left school.” His family, friends, and bishop all advised him to finish his studies first, and he did. After graduating with a degree in biotechnology from Mongolian International University, he entered a religious school in Daejon, South Korea, where he began studying Korean before studying for 8 years.


The child of a "small church"

News of this extraordinary ordination spread in ecclesial communities “like a wildfire,” in the words of Bishop Wenceslao Padilla. This ordination marks the maturity of a "baby church," less than a quarter of a century old. Mongolia, due to its location between the Soviet Union and communist China, received only one missionary in the late 20th century. The Mongol Church, which has 1,300 adherents, is still considered a beast of curiosity and activism. It's been scrutinized by the government.

A young bud, full of life as it is fragile

Mongolian Catholics are young people, between 15 and 40 years old, and of modest social background. Their compatriots regarded them as followers of the religion of foreigners, and this impression, until now, is reinforced by the fact that all members of the clergy come from other countries. Thus, Joseph Enkhee-Baatar had the opportunity to change the way his compatriots viewed his religion.

An opportunity he seized when he ordained, as among the audience was Father Dambajav, the director of the Dashi Lin Choi Buddhist monastery. He gave the new priest a traditional Buddhist scarf whose colors symbolized heaven and purity.

The monk's secretary reassured Asianews: “We have a good relationship with Catholics, we learn from them and they learn from us. We are very happy that one of them, a Mongolian, became a priest of this Church.”

Translation source from Aleteia