The Pontifical Mission Societies include the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Holy Childhood Association, the Society of St. Peter Apostle, and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious. These Societies promote a prayerful missionary spirit among baptized Catholics and to gather a fund of support for the evangelizing and pastoral programs of more than 1,150 local churches of the Developing World.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Meet Bishop Wencesao (Wens) Padilla

“Jesus said to Saint Peter, ‘Upon this rock, I will build my Church.’  And I’m thinking that is also addressed to me when I came to Mongolia.” – Bishop Wens

Just over 20 years ago, Bishop Wenceslao Padilla, a missionary priest from the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and now the first Bishop of Mongolia, arrived in Mongolia with two fellow priests.  He recalls finding a country struggling with issues like alcoholism and domestic abuse, with minimal government social services, and with extreme poverty.  He found people searching “for God and for holiness.” 

Bishop Wens was literally starting from zero – no Catholics in Mongolia when he and his fellow missionaries arrived.  The first Baptisms, as a group, took place after three years of their presence.  From the first group, the number of Catholics has continued to grow across Mongolia, with the total today numbering around 850.  Bishop Wens remains as committed today as on that first day, to reach out and offer practical and spiritual support to those in need, and to continue to build the Church.  Pope Francis is very strong on this, ‘Go out, go there and do something for the people especially the poor’…Because that’s what I wanted to do, reaching out to people, to the poor.

The Mongolian Catholic Church and other Catholic churches around the world urgently need us to reach out with them through our prayers and our financial help.  They need that support, for example, to build new churches and schools, train catechists, run medical centers, English and skill training classes, and homes for children with disabilities and who are homeless.


Thank you for your generosity and prayers,

Very Reverend Andrew Small, OMI
National Director

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