Newcomers in Mongolian mission

Mongolia, September 2016

It was in the calm sunrise of first of August, 2016 that we, Fr. Yeinson Galvis (Colombian) and Fr. Dido Mukadi (Congolese), left Italy after a couple of months spent in waiting for the documents. Our destination was Mongolia, an Asian country where Consolata missionaries have been present since 2003. Both newly ordained priests we have been waiting for that day and here we were. Our joy and expectations were big.

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Dialogue Encounters

Mongolia, May 2016

Interest for inter-religious dialogue and desire to turn it into a practice of life and of mission have become more concrete since the project of Kharkhorin had started to take form. To be present in the ancient capital of the Mongolian Empire has definitely a symbolic value. In the 13th century the Mongolian Khans had distinguished themselves for opening to others and for pacific living together of different religious traditions (among them Nestorian Christianity). They were also ready to welcome the papal envoys Giovanni of Pian del Carpine and William of Rubruck (both of them Franciscans). So, now a presence of the Catholic Church indicates an ideal bond with that history and together shows the willingness to proceed along the same lines of dialogue and enriching collaboration. And this is not something to overlook, keeping in mind the present political and social situation marked by strong nationalistic and exclusivist pressures, which are also felt by the mission.

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Jubilee Pilgrimage

April 2016

We, members of the little Christian community of Arvaiheer, have lived the joy of our jubilee pilgrimage in Mongolia! After the announcement that we, too, would have gone to the holy door in Ulaanbaatar, at the Cathedral dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, expectations were high and vibrant! The Mongolian religious tradition knows the custom of pilgrimages, originally taken from the Tibetan experience of approaching to the holy city of Lhasa. The ascetic wanderings of Buddhist monks in the past century, before it was forbidden by the communist regime, which had in mind to put an end, also by violence, to any religious expression, were also well known. Starting from these assumptions and relying on the enthusiasm immediately shown by people, the best preparation for the event was focused mainly on the Christian meaning of the pilgrimage and of the crossing of the holy door. At the same time it was an excellent occasion to deepen the meaning of forgiveness and reconciliation and to share personal experiences. Meeting the merciful God revealed by Christ is indeed the good news that enters people’s life, raises them up from miseries and fears, and opens new horizons! Also the idea of indulgences is easily understandable, considering some similarities with an analogous practice present in Mongol Buddhism. For us, missionary fathers and sisters, this has been a positive rediscovery while we were explaining it to the people.

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Newsletter 2015

L’anno che si sta concludendo – il dodicesimo da quando siamo qui – ci ha riservato emozioni forti, esperienze diverse e soprattutto incontri. I protagonisti sono quasi sempre loro, i nostri fratelli e sorelle di Ulaanbaatar e di Arvaiheer, che in svariati modi ci hanno aperto squarci sulle loro vite, permettendoci di assistere al miracolo del loro quotidiano e delle loro scelte. C’è chi ha dovuto far fronte a un lutto improvviso, nel bel mezzo della vita; chi ha ritrovato la gioia di sentirsi utile, quando nessuno più gli avrebbe dato credito; chi, senza fughe in avanti o episodi straordinari, ha saputo affrontare il giorno per giorno con pazienza e caparbietà. Un’osmosi di vita che ci ha arricchiti, trasformata in servizio e in preghiera perché la missione passi anche attraverso le nostre debolezze.

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