The Mongolian people eagerly anticipate the historic visit of Pope Francis, a monumental occasion for one of the smallest Church communities in the world. As the world's eyes turn to Mongolia, Pope Francis' visit emerges as a beacon of hope and inspiration for the country, spotlighting the Church's remarkable journey in Mongolia.
“I am in love with Mongolia, a beautiful, proud and friendly people. The first time in 2002, there was nothing, there was no Church,” says Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, highlighting also the diplomatic journey between Mongolia and the Holy See, “there has always been a great dialogue between the Catholic Chruch and the authorities in Mongolia”.
The Papal visit is supported on the ground by another strong figure of the Church in Mongolia, Cardinal Giorgio Marengo.
Arriving first as a missionary 20 years ago, Cardinal Marengo dedicates his life to support the Mongolian people. Today, Cardinal Marengo is also the Apostolic Prefect of Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. Throughout his years as a missionary, he has nurtured a deeper connection with the local community as he walked with the people, embodying the real meaning of Mission.
“The greatest joy was definitely seeing how the Lord was guiding the lives of these people in a mysterious and very personalised way. And so, the joy, for example, of seeing that beyond all our difficulties and even our poverty, the lord opened a door into the hearts of these people who then decided to entrust themselves to him. So, this is definitely the most beautiful joy. Accompanying people on their faith journey,” says Cardinal Marengo when speaking about his journey with the Mongolian people.
Cardinal Marengo hopes that this visit will be memorable both for Pope Francis and the local community, as the program focuses on the significance of community, charity, and faith.
One of the key highlights of Pope Francis’s visit is the blessing of the ‘House of Mercy’ on September 4, a project dedicated to support people most in need. The social centre will provide support for women and minors who are victims of domestic violence, a safe place for people suffering from homelessness, and a welcoming place for migrants.
The renovation of the House of Mercy, funded by Catholic Mission, the Pope’s own Mission agency in Australia, is a perfect example of the Church's commitment to support and work with local communities where the need is greatest.
Pope Francis will lead a blessing ceremony emphasising the global impact of Mission, inspired by the 2023 theme 'Hearts on fire, feet on the move', a theme used worldwide to celebrate World Mission Month, a month dedicated to celebrate the great work of Mission.
This October, for World Mission Month, here in Australia, guided by Pope Francis’ words, Catholic Mission will bring the spotlight on the Mission work in Timor-Leste.