BY DANIEL LINDBERGH LANG
ULAANBAATAR (Nov 15, 2022): A nun left her home in central Africa in 2000, only three years after her religious profession. She crossed the globe and headed to Mongolia to serve the people there. Sr Lucilla Munchi from Cameroon spent all these years teaching English to the most vulnerable children and employable skills to migrant women and men, alongside her fellow Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
To commemorate the 25 years since her religious profession, hundreds gathered in the biggest church in Mongolia to celebrate with her. The iconic domed Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral was filled that Nov 6 morning with more than 300 parishioners, foreign missionaries and others who braved the recent snowfall and cold.
But there was much warmth and joy inside the ger or yurt-shaped cathedral as Sr Lucilla danced with the youths, the attendees watched stage performances, and people came with gifts for her and the other sisters from Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (ICM).
“I want to say thank you very much,” she said in her speech in both Mongolian and English.
A bilingual Mongolian and English Mass was held. Missionary priests, active throughout Mongolia, from the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CICM Missionaries) concelebrated with the cardinal.
The event was held to also commemorate the founding of the ICM, which was 125 years ago in 1897. Nearly 100 years later, their mission work in Mongolia started, and that was 27 years ago.
Giorgio Cardinal Marengo, IMC (Instituto Missioni Consolata), presided over Sunday’s celebratory bilingual Mass. In the English translation of his homily, the cardinal said, “One could even decide to live as Jesus lived: poor, virgin and obedient. This is the deepest meaning of what we call ‘consecrated life’ in the Church.”
He said this was the life-decision made 25 years ago by “our dear Sr Lucilla and carried on with fidelity and trust up to now.”
Daniel Lindbergh Lang, from the US, is serving as a volunteer in Mongolia. Earlier this year, he served in Southeast Asia with the Catholic St Francis Xavier Lay Missionary Society.
Earlier stories by Daniel Lindbergh Lang:
To Thank and Encourage People We Served
Companions in Mary, St Paul and Matteo Ricci
God’s authorship, spanning generations and places
Chinese ancestry, Mum’s death and first journey to Asia
From Vegas to Asia – Daniel Lang on a mission for God