Mongolia’s first Catholic priest to be ordained in Ulaanbaatar
Don Joseph Enkh was ordained a deacon on 11 December 2014 in Daejeong (South Korea), where he received his initial formation, and returned to Mongolia in January. Since then he has been carrying out his pastoral experience, serving in various parishes of Mongolia. On Monday evening, August 29 Joseph Enkh will celebrate his first Mass in the same Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul in Ulaanbaatar
The Church has been growing in Mongolia following decades of Communist rule, during which the free exercise of religious freedom was not permitted, therefore restricting opportunities for the Catholic Church to spread the Faith. But the new democratic government of Mongolia established in 1992 has been welcoming the Church's presence and the work of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart (CICM) missionaries.
Upon arrival, Bp. Padilla, a native of the Philippines, and other missionary priests found that Mongolia struggled with issues such as alcoholism and domestic abuse and almost no government programs to help them.
The priests started from scratch with zero parishioners in 1992, with the first baptisms taking place three years after their start in 1995. Today, the bishop is the leader of about 1,000 Catholics and three parishes.
There are also 54 missionaries that are part of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart who are from various countries and are working to build up the Church's influence.