Mongolia to receive its first deacon - from Mongolia
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By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online
12/9/2014 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
The Apostolic Prefecture of Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia will receive its first indigenous deacon, 23-year-old Enkh Baatar during an ordination this week in South Korea. What's remarkable is that Baatar is Mongolian-born, in an area where the church is dominated by foreign-born missionaries.
The Catholic Church in Mongolia is small, but growing, dominated by foreign-born missionaries.
LOS ANGELES, CA 9Catholic Online) - Bishop Wenceslao Padilla of the prefecture said the ordination of Baatar is highly anticipated. The ordination coincides with the recent celebration of the Catholic Church's 20 years of existence in Mongolia.
Padilla also said he was glad to see a Mongolian native take the lead 20 years before by the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Receiving a biochemistry degree from Mongolia International University, an institution founded by South Korean Protestants in Ulaanbaatar, Enkh Baatar flew in August 2008 to the diocese of Daejon in South Korea, where he studied Korean for six months before entering the seminary.
More than 80 priests and religious in Mongolia are foreign-born that have presided over the small, but growing Church here.
Baatar, whose baptismal name is Joseph, wrote in a blog post that he was eager to join the Church. The church here has been long marked by difficulties.
"I wanted to go straight to the seminary after finishing school, but my family and everyone in the mission, including the bishop, advised me to educate myself first in college. I was disappointed."
Baatar recognizes now that "it was a wise decision."
Receiving a biochemistry degree from Mongolia International University, an institution founded by South Korean Protestants in Ulaanbaatar, he flew in August 2008 to the diocese of Daejon in South Korea, where he studied Korean for six months before entering the seminary.
One parishioner said Baatar's mother addressed the congregation about her son's ordination.
"She told the congregation how her son . had to struggle to persevere in his vocation and that the family, like most of his friends, had tried for years to dissuade him from becoming a priest," the parishioner said.
Baatar's mother is now proud of her son, the parishioner added, and will be in attendance at his ordination this week in Seoul.
According to the laws of the Republic of Mongolia, only a Mongolian citizen can own land or run a religious organization.
Bishop Padilla said that a 2009 law requiring foreign entities operating in the country to hire local Mongolian staff according to a quota system had created a financial strain on the Church that would now be alleviated.
"According to these quotas, the Catholic Church is expected to hire an additional 60 people, but we do not have the money for their salaries," he said.
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