PIONEERING Mongolian Bishop Wenceslao (Wens) Padilla was in Brisbane recently to share his story with Catholic Mission volunteers.
Bishop Padilla, from the Italian Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, told of his arrival as leader of a team of the first three missionary priests in Mongolia in 1992.
The bishop was in Brisbane over the weekend of September 14-15 and then gave similar presentations in Newcastle, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth.
The Catholic Mission volunteers will now spread the bishop’s message through parishes in the archdiocese as they promote CM’s 2013 World Mission Appeal to help the infant Church in Mongolia.
Archdiocesan CM director David McGovern said Bishop Padilla had spoken at St Peter’s parish, Rochedale as Logan Deanery was “first cab off the ranks in the mission appeal”.
“We heard an inspirational story of building a Church structure from scratch,” he said.
“The bishop, who came from the Philippines and previously served in Taiwan, faced many challenges.
“The Mongolian weather for example…he had come from the humid north of the Philippines and the temperature can drop as low as minus 45 degrees in Mongolia.
“The bishop described a country mostly comprised of nomadic herders with no knowledge of Christianity, struggling with alcoholism, domestic abuse, minimal government social services and extreme poverty.
“Bishop Padilla called for support of the young Church which now has 50 missionary Sisters and 21 priests.
“Volunteers for Catholic Mission have been inspired by what they heard and will go out through the archdiocese to spread the word.”
Catholic Mission — through generous and faithful donors — has supported the Mongolian Catholic Church since day one, Mr McGovern said.
“These helped build the very first church in Mongolia just three years after Bishop Padilla arrived,” he said.