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Mongolia’s first native priest speaks about his mission


It was a historic moment for the Mongolian Catholic Church when the country’s first native priest was ordained on Aug. 28. Father Joseph Enkh Baatar, 29, could be the first local to be ordained in a millennium.

The new priest was ordained at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral in the national capital Ulaanbaatar. The service was attended by about 1,500 people and led by Bishop Wenceslao Padilla, Apostolic Prefect of Ulaanbaatar.

“I hope Father Enkh [will] be a Good Samaritan to the people of Mongolia,” said Bishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik from the South Korean Daejeon diocese where Father Enkh trained and studied to be a priest.

Mongolia has some 1,000 Catholics. The Catholic Church’s presence in Mongolia is small, only 0.04 percent of the 2.7 million people and, out of 21 provinces, 17 have no Church presence at all.

But the young priest is undeterred. “Jesus said that the harvest is big and the workers are few,” he said. “If you are serving God and his people wholeheartedly, it does not matter which nationality or congregation you are. You are a big help in the evangelization not only of Mongolia but the whole world.”

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