Mongolia Catholic Community mourns it's first bishop
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 26 September 2018 -- "Our beloved Bishop Wens passed away suddenly in his office this evening at 7:15 PM by heart attack. He finished his mission in Mongolia peacefully, let us continues to pray for his eternal rest and also pray for his dreams of Mongolia that has not yet realized... Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. Let perpetual light shine upon him. Amen." With this greeting announced yesterday Fr Paul Leung, the provincial delegate for Mongolia (VIE) the unexpected death to his confreres and Salesian family.
A Filipino missionary, Bishop Wenceslaus Padilla, CICM (69 years) went to the house of the Father after 26 years of missionary life in Mongolia as one of the founding members of the youngest Asian Catholic community (July 1992). After his previous missionary commitment in Taiwan (ROC) was put as head of the first CICM community and Superior 'Missio Sui Iuris' in Ulanbaatar, when the Mongolia government requested the Holy See to send some Catholic missionaries to this large majority Tibetan Buddhist country.
Under his leadership the small flock was growing little by little until the present shape. After the establishment of the Mongolia Apostolic Prefecture in 2002, Mons. Padilla was ordained a Bishop of Ulaanbaatar. At present there are 77 missionaries coming from 22 different countries, most of the religious and 1300 Mongolian faithful in seven parishes and other 3 pastoral centers. Amidst of numerous (especially external) challenges Bishop (called by all simply) "Wens" was closely accompanying his young and slowly growing Church with optimism and missionary wisdom.
Among his main joyful event was the consecration of the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul and ordination of the first Mongolian priest, Fr. Joseph Enkhee-Baatar in 2016.
Since he welcomed 20 years ago (April 1998) as the Superior of Missio Sui Iuris in Ulanbaatar the first two Salesians, who were sent by the late Fr Juan E. Vecchi for the first prospection visit, until the September 2018 canonical visitation of Fr. Joseph Quang (Provincial of Vietnam-Mongolia) just few weeks ago, Mons. Padilla was always very close to the Salesian Family of Don Bosco. And the SDB Brothers and Priests, FMA sisters, Salesian Cooperators and Alumni felt and appreciated his fatherly presence very much. Bishop Wens always appreciated the wonderful family spirit on many occasions. The October 2016 visit of the Rector major was no exception! He was indeed a Father and Missionary guide to all, with a discretion and frank sharing.
With a grateful heart for a great pastor and missionary, we request your prayers for the small Catholic community of Mongolia and her first Bishop!