In Uruguay the Catholic Church has a much more limited influence on society than in other countries of Latin America. Barely half the inhabitants of this, the second smallest country in Latin America, profess themselves to be Catholics. Religion has long been banished to the private sphere, and there are officially no Christian holidays in Uruguay. Thus, Christmas is called the „Day of the Family“ on official calendars, and Holy week and Easter are called „Tourism Week“. Similarly, many of the laws of the country are in outright contradiction to Catholic teaching.
Nonetheless, the Catholic schools make a vital contribution to the work of evangelization. The Church-sponsored „Sophia Foundation“ in the capital Montevideo has made it its mission to support the Catholic schools in their evangelising mission and to further improve the teaching of religion, so that children of all ages can have the opportunity, with the help of good catechetical material, to grow and mature in faith and in Christian character, so that they in turn can make their own precious contribution within their families, in society and within the Church.
Currently the programme involves some 3700 school pupils and around 50 catechists. These children are also participating in the now famous Rosary campaign, „A million children praying the Rosary“ when, on 18 October each year, children from all over the world will be praying the Rosary together for peace. This is an initiative that began in 2005 in the Venezuelan capital Caracas, when a group of children were praying the Rosary in front of a wayside shrine and some of the women who were present experienced a deep sense of the presence of the Virgin Mary. Saint Padre Pio once foretold that, „When a million children pray the Rosary together, then the world will change.“ And so the aim is that the power of the united prayer of these children will one day, by God‘s grace, bring about peace in the world and produce a wealth of spiritual fruits.
And so a request was made to ACN to help the campaign by publishing 2000 copies of the little booklet „Children praying the Rosary“ (Los Ninos rezamos el Rosario). Thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, we were able to give 740 Euros, and the books have now arrived in Montevideo, to the delight of the children. Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed!