ASIA/MONGOLIA - First Mass of the first Mongolian priest

Thursday, 1 September 2016 local churches   evangelization   priests  


Ulaanbaatar (Agenzia Fides) - A heartfelt reflection on the cross and a moving story of his vocation: is what Fr. Joseph Enkh said during the celebration of his first Mass in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Ulaanbaatar, August 29. Fr. Joseph Enkh is the first native priest of Mongolia and was ordained a priest on Sunday, August 28. "The event was greeted with much joy and pride, with so many people gathered to welcome this gift from Heaven" says to Fides Fr. Prosper Mbumba, CICM, Congolese missionary in Mongolia.
On the same day Bishop Wenceslao Padilla, Apostolic Prefect of Ulaanbaatar, celebrated the 13th anniversary of his episcopal consecration and Fr. Joseph Enkh considered this coincidence as "an honor" for him. After thanking the people who came to his ordination and his first Mass, Fr. Joseph spoke in Mongolian, English and Korean (there were many visitors from South Korea, where Joseph received his initial formation education) during his homily.
The priest began his homily with the biblical passage "deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow me" (Lk 9, 23). Fr. Enkh shared how, one year after his ordination as a deacon, he contemplated the mystery of the cross and accepted the invitation of the Lord to "bear the cross for the sake of the Kingdom of God and for the good of the Church in Mongolia, in particular, and for the Mongolian people. There is no resurrection without the cross".
As a boy, the biblical passage of prophet Isaiah’s call was a decisive step for him: "Here am I, send me" (Is. 6). "I prayed to God to send me. God heard my prayer. Now I am here and I say to him: Lord, I have come to do your will". "Pray for me, so that I can carry my cross not only for one year, but for the rest of my life", he concluded. At the end of the Mass, all those present, even Bishop Wenceslao Padilla, queued to receive a special blessing from Father Joseph’s hands. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 01/09/2016)