Ulan Bator (Fides Service) - The little Catholic community in Mongolia celebrated the feast of St John Bosco in a worthy manner involving also non Christian children, with a special Mass and festivities which turned out to be an opportunity to share the faith.
Local church sources told Fides that the feast day, 31 January, was the highlight of an intense period involving all local Catholics in spiritual preparation and organisation, particularly in the Salesian mission in Mongolia. During the nine days leading up to the feast day the people reflected on Don Bosco’s message in order to understand his figure and spirituality and their significance for youth in Mongolia today. This was all planned with typical Salesian testimony with dancing, poetry, drawings on the figure of Don Bosco, which are the means most adapted to expressing the sensitivity and creativity of young people.
Preparation involved also non Christian youth. On 31 January Mass was celebrated with the young people, teachers, volunteers and missionaries of other congregations. After Mass some members of the Youth Centre presented theatre pieces on the life of Don Bosco followed by games and a film.
In Mongolia the proclamation of the Gospel has resumed after years of darkness marked by oppression by Communist ideology. Today the small flock of Catholics, which returned to life in the 1990s after the fall of communism, has 177 members. Compared to the past, many more people are showing interest in the faith. Today the people are more open to the faith and cases of conversion and baptism are a proof of this new desire for the truth. New evangelisation is proceeding well and new churches are needed because the existing ones cannot give proper pastoral care to the people of God in their charge. Young people aged 16 to 30 are the ones who show the deepest longing for God, the Communist regime left the hearts of the people empty and today the Church is here to fill this void with the knowledge of Christ’s love for all men and women.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 7/2/2005 righe 34 parole 378)