Mongolia – size does not matter to God

Pope Francis assured one of the world’s smallest Catholic communities, Mongolia, that size does not matter to God.

“God loves littleness, and through it, he loves to accomplish great things,” Pope Francis said during an address in Mongolia at Ulaanbaatar’s Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul on September 2.

Doubling down, he urged the Church not to be concerned with “small numbers, limited success, or apparent irrelevance.”

In a trip highlighting the Catholic Church’s universal reach, Francis sought to bring hope and inspiration to the tiny Catholic community.

The community comprises only 1,450 members but punches well above its weight, actively operating six educational centres and 48 charities across the nation.

Pope Francis celebrated these efforts as the “calling card” of the community’s Christian commitment, noting a promising rise in the faith with 35 baptisms in the past year.

As church leaders juggle an array of charitable initiatives, the pope urged them to remain grounded.”

Go back often to that ‘original gaze’ [of Jesus] from which everything began,” he advised, cautioning against the risk of burnout and the sense of merely delivering “a roster of duties.”

“Our Mongolian brothers and sisters, who have a keen sense of the sacred, look for your witness and can recognise if it is genuine,” the pope noted.

The pope’s visit is expected to energise the Catholic community in Mongolia and offer a beacon of spiritual light for Catholics living under restrictive regimes in neighbouring countries, particularly in China.

Despite substantial risks, including potential governmental repercussions, about 100 Chinese Catholics made the journey. An anonymous spokesman commented that the risks were well worth it, underlining the profound meaning the pope holds for Catholics worldwide.

The pontiff’s visit is a testament to the Church’s global outreach and a powerful reminder that faith knows no borders, even as it faces a world often hostile to expressions of religious freedom.


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