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The Mongolian Way of celebrating Easter

By Fr. Jaroslav Vracovsky, SDB

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 22 April 2019 -- From the traditional Mongolian Lunar Year to the Christian celebration of Easter (April 21) there were many opportunities to celebrate in our small Catholic community of Shuuwuu (50+ km from our Ulaanbaatar community). With three Salesian priests - Fr Paul, Fr Mario and Fr Jaroslav, our family-like parish community of 40 faithful celebrated the Easter Vigil in the traditional Mongolian tent (Ger). After the sandstorm on Good Friday the weather was very merciful and the - 10 C (night) and + 10 C (day) temperature contributed to a real festive mood of Mongolian 'spring'.

The Shuuwuu community is organized around the large property with few facilities for educational activities (after school tutoring, Oratory like activity), one of the 'gers' serves as the chapel for the parish community. As is the case everywhere in Mongolia, there are about 15-25 children and young people with another group of quite senior citizens, among them the 85-year-old almost blind old man is among the most prayerful Catholics of our flock.

Our young but vibrant Mongolian Catholic community is still without a bishop (after the death of Bishop Wens Padilla last October 2018) and we pray for the appointment of his successor. In order to share the faith there is a variety of initiatives like the two day Alpha Course session (March 2019) in Ulaanbaatar and the Bible hand-writing movement thanks to Fr Simon Lee and Don Bosco Media.

At present, our small Delegation of Mongolia only has 10 Salesians, located in Ulaanbaatar and the Darkhan community, both with some outreach like Shuuwuu (40 km from the Catholic Cathedral of UB). Our confreres are entrusted with one technical school, three youth centres (daily Oratory), agricultural project and social development work. The Salesian Family in Mongolia is made up of 10 SDB, 5 FMA, 18 Salesian Cooperators and a few hundred Don Bosco Alumni, being slowly formed and organized.

We wish you a Happy Easter 2019!

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