ASIA/MONGOLIA - Mongolian Catholics pray intensely on the eve of the Conclave - “People see us as the Pope’s community”: Apostolic Prefect of Ulan Bator tells Fides

Saturday, 16 April 2005

Ulan Bator (Fides Service) - The small Catholic community in Mongolia, only 300, are praying intensely for the Conclave and the election of the next Pope, while thanking God for the pontificate of John Paul II, Mgr Wenceslao Padilla, Prefect Apostolic Prefect of Ulan Bator told Fides, adding that the situation of the Church in Mongolia is “very positive and happy”.
Talking with Fides Mgr. Padilla said: “We have three parishes in the city and in all three churches people are praying intensely to accompany the Cardinals in conclave with the task of electing the next Pope. As a Catholic community here we have benefited from this historic moment, with the world wide mourning also in Mongolia for Pope John Paul II. People know us as “the Pope’s community”, and they express their sympathy with us and their esteem for the Pope recalling his desire to come here to Mongolia. We celebrated two Requiem Masses attended by crowds of people. We received messages of condolences from civil and religious authorities. I put a large photograph of the Pope in front of the St Peter and Paul cathedral. After the election I will put one of the new Pope”.
With regard to the present situation in Mongolia Mgr. Padilla said: “Consideration of the Catholic community here has increased recently and this is good for evangelisation. Many people come to ask about the faith. We had fifty baptisms at Easter this year. And we have more than 100 catechumens taking the 2 year course of Christian initiation who will be baptised at Easter 2006. So the community is growing thanks to God and his gifts. We are certain that the next Pope will continue to show concern for our little community here in the heart of Asia”.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 16/4/2005 righe 15 parole 156)