Monday 4 September was the final day of Pope Francis’ Papal visit to Mongolia, which concluded with the blessing of the ‘House of Mercy’, a welcoming place dedicated to supporting people most in need.
A significant last stop for Pope Francis, that through this blessing, acknowledged the missionary effort on the ground as being more than evangelical, but people orientated for the greater good.
As the House of Mercy is a tangible expression of the Church’s care for others.
“These [charitable work] internally developed into long-term projects are carried out mostly by the various missionary institutes present here and much appreciated by the population and civil authorities. Indeed, government has sought help from Catholic missionaries in confronting the numerous social emergencies,” highlighted Pope Francis in his speech.
Supported by Catholic Mission, the House of Mercy is a social centre that will provide support for women and minors who are victims of domestic violence, a safe place for people suffering from homelessness, and a welcoming place for migrants.
The international charitable effort and the dedication of missionaries on the ground are an enormous source of support for the House of Mercy.
“Those projects continue to draw upon the dedication of missionaries from many countries who put their knowledge, experience, resources and especially their love at the service of Mongolian Society. To them, and to all those who support these many good works, I express my appreciation and offer my heartfelt thanks,” continued Pope Francis.
However, key to the project is the involvement of the local Church as the main leader of the project, supported by missionaries and charitable organisations, a unique collaboration at the heart of the Pontifical Mission Societies (known as Catholic Mission in Australia).
It enables the communities to develop themselves with adequate support, a work process that was highlighted as being an example of community collaboration by Pope Francis:
“The House of Mercy is meant to be the point of reference for a variety of charitable works, hands outstretched towards our brothers and sisters, struggling to navigate life’s problems. A safe haven, in other words, where people can find a listening ear and an understanding heart. While, not unlike many other initiatives supported by there’s Catholic institutions, this new undertaking is also special, since here it is the particular Church that carries out the work. Coordinating the efforts of all the missionary groups, while preserving a clearly local identity as an authentic expression of the Apostolic Prefecture as a whole.”
The House of Mercy is a project pursued by Catholic Mission, which works relentlessly to give a voice and empower communities worldwide by giving them adequate support to succeed in addressing grassroots issues.
“It is an immense honour to have welcomed the Holy Father within the House of Mercy, and to have blessed the place. This place is a witness of the missionary work here in Mongolia, but also from around the world, as highlighted by Pope Francis in his speech earlier today,” said Lawrence Gigliotti, Catholic Mission Program Manager, responsible for the collaboration between Catholic Mission and the local Church for the House of Mercy.
To learn more about the work of Catholic Mission, visit www.catholicmission.org.au