Asian prelates mourn death of Bishop Padilla
Bishop Wenceslao Padilla, 1949 – 2018. PHOTO COURTESY OF CARITAS MONGOLIA
By Roy Lagarde
September 27, 2018
Asia’s Catholic leaders mourned the passing of Filipino Bishop Wenceslao Padilla, a shepherd remembered for his “valuable contributions” to the Church.
The Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) said they are deeply saddened by the death of Padilla, the first prelate of Mongoila, who succumbed to heart attack on Tuesday.
Fr. William LaRousse, FABC Acting Assistant Secretary General, said Padilla represented the other associate members of the body’s central committee over the past nine years, from 2009 to 2017, as he served three terms.
He said it was in 2009 when an amendment was made to the FABC statutes to include an associate member to represent other associate members on the central committee.
“We are deeply grateful for his generosity and availability as presider of various FABC plenary assemblies and programs as well as his valuable contributions during the central committee executive and offices meetings,” LaRousse said.
Padilla was ordained a priest for the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CICM) in 1976 and sent to Taiwan the following year on his first mission assignment.
From 1985 to 1990, he served as Provincial Superior of the Chinese Provinces of CICM, which also covers Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Two years later, together with two other confreres, he started a new mission in Mongolia that the Vatican had entrusted to CICM.
As the superior of the mission, he was made Prefect of Ulaanbaatar in 2002 and was appointed Mongolia’s first bishop the following year.
After 25 years of church’s presence in Mongolia, the country now has over 60 missionaries from 12 religious congregations serving about 1,200 Catholics in six parishes.
Bishop Padilla was found lifeless at his office in Ulaanbaatar at around 7pm, local time on Sept. 25, according to CICM.
After an investigation, local authorities have ruled out foul play in the sudden death of the 68-year-old prelate.
The CICM revealed that Padilla “has a history of heart problem”.
Bishop Padilla’s funeral will be held in Ulaanbaatar Cathedral on October 14.