Ulaanbaatar (Agenzia Fides) - "We must accompany the faithful towards a dimension of greater depth: this is one of the pastoral challenges of the near future for the Church in Mongolia". Msgr. Giorgio Marengo, Apostolic Prefect of Ulaanbaatar, is convinced of this and reminds Agenzia Fides that the direction of the journey in the local Church "is that of an ever more full and lively participation of the baptized". This perspective was deepened during the recent Pastoral Week, organized for the 30th anniversary of the missionary life of the Mongolian Church (which restarted in 1992, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union), which today has 2 priests, 22 foreign missionaries and about 35 missionary nuns. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Mongolia. "For this double anniversary - the Prelate reported - we have prepared a meeting on the path of synodality, in which we reflected on the future prospects of our Church".
Taking stock and illustrating the perspectives of the mission in Mongolia, Msgr. Marengo notes: "Looking back on these first thirty years of presence of the Catholic Church in Mongolia, the thread that unites these three decades is certainly the love for Christ, for his Gospel and for the Church, his bride, which now takes root in this land and in the hearts of this people". Regarding the challenges to be met, according to the newly appointed Cardinal, "perhaps it is time to go deeper, thinking above all of the life of faith, which must be able to nourish itself with contents appropriate to reality and a practice that reflects and continues to inspire them". Besides the formation and deepening of the faith received, continues Bishop Marengo, the criteria to be followed are those of communion, that is to say living each step and each choice with a spirit of fraternity, preserving unity, within the Catholic community and also in relations with the outside world; those of proclamation, that is, to be the Church that goes forth, to continue the evangelizing mission, to give the Gospel of Christ and to whisper his message of love to every creature". The main activity in missionary work continues to be social commitment: "The great investment of the first years - explains the Prefect - is the activity of human promotion, attention to the poor with various projects. We are talking about education, health, care of abandoned children. We can also count on the cooperation of Caritas Mongolia. Then, each parish develops its own projects, which range from support for agriculture to aid for women, including scholarships and professional integration". The priority, underlines Bishop Marengo, is to promote an announcement and pastoral care
that are attentive to the specificities of the Mongolian people and their infinite nuances: "depth means a long time of adequate insertion and above all being in tune with the beating heart of this culture , which is embodied in the individuals encountered. It also means accompanying the journey of each brother and sister who, touched by Grace, he concludes, begins to re-read their personal and collective history in the light of the Gospel". (ES/PA) (Agenzia Fides, 1/7/2022)