The bishop praised God for the historic moment of the apostolic prefecture's first native vocation, and prayed that many more such vocations would arise to help the local Church.
The Mass was concelebrated by Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla, apostolic nuncio to Mongolia and Korea; Bishop Lazarus You Heung-sik of Daejon, in South Korea; and more than 100 priests from South Korea and Hong Kong.
More than 1,500 persons attended the Mass, including dignitaries of foreign embassies, local Orthodox churches, and Buddhist monks. The Mass was followed by joyous festival.
Ruffina commented that “This meaningful liturgical celebration of the sacrament of priestly ordination conducted in their own indigenous language gave an opportunity to the faithful to actually witness in proximity, to celebrate, and to understand the various steps in preparation for the priesthood and the ordination rite.”
The faithful of Mongolia had prepared for the event by reciting a novena to St. Paul to strengthen their missionary spirit during the Year of Mercy.
Fr. Baatar was born June 24, 1987. He lost his father at a young age, and his sister introduced him to the Catholic faith. His dream of joining the priesthood was initially postponed, due to his family's strong desire that he complete his university studies.
After graduating with a degree in biotechnology and with the support of his family, he then applied to become a seminarian for the Prefecture Apostolic of Ulaanbaatar.
Fr. Baatar entered the Daejeon seminary in South Korea, and was ordained a deacon in December 2014.
Concluding the Mass, the newly ordained priest profoundly thanked his family and his mentors at the seminary, especially Bishop You. He also praised the important role played by Bishop Padilla through his support of his vocation.
Fr. Baatar urged the faithful to pray for his priestly ministry so that he could faithfully fulfill his ordination motto, chosen from the gospel of Luke: "Deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow me."
“I thank the Lord who has called me to serve Him through the priesthood. I am also grateful to all the people who have helped me respond to this calling,” Fr. Baatar expressed.
Bishop You reminded the new priest that “the best way of announcing the good news is a life of witnessing.”
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Commenting on the vast missionary work that lies ahead in Mongolia, the South Korean bishop said, “Fr. Joseph, being a Mongolian citizen, has to live as a missionary in his own country.”
Ruffina also recounted that the parishioners of Saint Mary’s parish gave Fr. Baatar a Bible which was handwritten by the parishioners themselves.
A young family ministry volunteer, Clara Gantesetseg, told CNA that “the ordination gift of Fr. Joseph Enkh is sign of hope to our people in Mongolia, and a special a gift during this Year of Mercy.”
Clara noted that “Fr. Joseph’s indigenous roots, his cultural and life experiences of his own and the people, will help to transcend the teachings of the Church to the local culture for better understanding, and also will foster interreligious dialogue.”
Among the guests at the Mass was the Abbot Dambajav of Dashi Choi Lin Buddhist Monastery. He praised the efforts of the Catholic Church and encouraged Fr. Baatar to take up the responsibility of helping the Mongolian people. He also gave the new priest a blue khadag, a ceremonial scarf, as a mark of friendship.
Ruffina pointed out that the Buddhist monk's participation and his kind words of encouragement will further forge bonds of friendship and interreligious dialogue between the communities for peaceful co-existence.