Mongolia’s Bishop Padilla died suddenly from a heart attack on September 25, 2018. He had recently returned from a mid-September pilgrimage with several other Asian Priests to Seoul, South Korea. A Phillippine native, Padilla was born in 1949 and ordained into the Priesthood in 1976. He was a member of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Following normalization of diplomatic relationships with Mongolia in 1992, the Vatican assigned Padilla to that country to open a mission. Pope St. John Paul II established the Apostolic Prefecture of Ulaanbaatar on July 8, 2002, and appointed Padilla as the first Prefect. In 2016, Bishop Padilla ordained Mongolia’s first indigenous Priest, 29-year old Fr. Joseph Enkh Baatar, a young man he baptized as a child.
Mongolia now has seven Catholic Parishes and three missionary centers, serving approximately 1,300 Catholics. Ulaanbaatar, formerly known as Ulan Bator, is the capital and largest city in the country. Located in north-central Mongolia, in the valley of the Tuul River, Ulaanbaatar is the country’s cultural, industrial and financial center.
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