The secular country is a kind of foreign entity in what is known as the “Catholic continent”. Since 1916, the strict separation of church and state has been anchored in the constitution. Of 3.5 million inhabitants, significantly less than half are Catholic, and there are no official religious holidays. State regulations for the maintenance of church buildings have brought the dioceses to the brink of ruin. Without outside help, the Church cannot survive here. Therefore, it has been supported by ACN for many years.
Due to the desolate financial situation of the local Church, many priests live at the subsistence level. Our Mass stipends are a great help to them. In addition to the active priests in most of the ten Uruguayan dioceses, ACN also supported 18 very elderly priests in the ecclesiastical retirement home in Montevideo in 2018 with a subsistence grant of 14,800 euros. The sum helps both the home and the priests, who can use it to pay for part of their medication, among other things.
» Despite the anticlerical environment, many young people have a flourishing faith. «
But despite a secular environment that is often hostile to the Church, faith is also flourishing among young people. These include more and more women who have decided to enter convents. One example is the city of Florida in southern Uruguay. Twelve sisters currently live and pray in the Convent of the Discalced Carmelites, and other young women have asked to be admitted to the convent. But there are not enough rooms to accommodate further entrants. An annexe, co-financed by ACN with 70,000 euros, will now accommodate five new rooms.