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The Catholic Church in Mongolia has grown from zero to 800 members in 20 years. The anniversary was celebrated with a special Mass at the Cathedral of Ulan Bator, in the presence of civil and religious authorities, including Mgr Savio Hon Tai Fai, Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and Mgr Lazarus You Heung-sik, Bishop of the Diocese of Daejeon, South Korea.
The establishment of a fifth parish was announced and a new Catholic elementary school, was inaugurated. In the coming months, Mgr Wenceslao Padilla, Apostolic Prefect Mgr Padilla will be visiting communities and groups. The celebrations will culminate on 7 October 2012, the day on which all the faithful Mongolian Catholics are invited to plant a tree in memory of the first 20 years of the Church.
After the fall of the communist regime in 1991 there were no Catholics in Mongolia. In 1992, with the new Constitution which recognizes religious freedom, the first 'Missino sui iuris' was established and diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the Holy See were established. In that year three pioneer missionaries arrived in the country.
By 2006 there were about 600 Catholics, including 350 native Mongolians. Today there are 81 missionaries from 22 different nationalities and 13 religious institutes. Two young Mongolians are now training for the priesthood in South Korea, at the Catholic University in Daejeon.
The Catholic mission now has two centres for street children, a home for the elderly, two Montessori kindergartens, two primary schools, a centre for children with disabilities, and a technical school. It has also created three libraries with study rooms and computer facilities, a hostel for university students, equipped with modern facilities, various centres for youth activities. Two farms are in full operation in rural areas, with programs that help rural communities, a doctor's surgery and a clinic. Caritas Mongolia, is working on water supply programs, building homes for the poor, sustainable agriculture, food security, social development, fighting human trafficking.