Catholic sister in Mongolia hopes Pope's visit will help increment work of missionaries
By Linda Bordoni
Sr Agnes Gangmei, from the congregation of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, has been a missionary, in Mongolia since 2012.
She is a teacher in a school in Obit, on the outskirts of Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar attended by about 100 children from kindergarten to primary school.
Sr Agnes is currently in India for a two-year study period before she returns to Mongolia next year, but upon hearing of the Pope’s visit to the vast and sparsely populated East Asian country she said she felt “very happy and overwhelmed to learn of the visit of our Holy Father.”
In an interview with Asianews, Sr Agnes said “My feelings at this moment can be compared to those of Saint Elizabeth when she received Mary's visit: How is it that the mother of my Lord has come to me’?"
Describing the Catholic community in Mongolia as “very young and very small” she said it feels “privileged, honoured and blessed to be able to welcome Pope Francis to our community.”
“We only have around 1,500 baptised Catholics,” she added, noting that her mission is one of the newest in the country where the Church has been present for only thirty years.
"We hope for closer ties between the Vatican and the land of Mongolia," she said.
Sr Agnes said that the sisters have often hoped and prayed for this occasion, “And in the end, God heard our prayers!”
The Pope’s presence alone, she said, speaks volumes, and there are not enough words to thank him, she continued, expressing confidence that this visit will deepen and strengthen the faith of the Catholic community, as it will see him as a good shepherd who cares for his flock.
“We also hope that it will help to make progress on the issue of visas for missionaries who are sent here. This has been one of the biggest problems we have encountered in recent years,” she said.
Reiterating her hope that closer ties can be established between the Vatican and Mongolia, Sr Agnes said this would enable missionaries to carry out their apostolate in various fields such as education, works of charity, health and social development, making their presence more productive.
She concluded expressing appreciation and gratitude to the Pope for accepting the invitation to visit us, through Cardinal Giorgio Marengo, Apostolic Prefect of Ulaanbaatar since 2020.