Latin America is generally considered Catholic, but Uruguay, its second smallest country, has a long secular history. In the 19th century, public expression of religion was banned, and the government made numerous provocations against the Catholic Church. For example, on Good Friday, a day of fasting and abstinence for Catholics, the government would arrange free barbecues.
Since 1917, there has been a strict separation of church and state, which is formally enshrined in Uruguay’s constitution. No religious festivals are acknowledged on the public calendar; not even half of its population identify as Catholic today.
As a result, the Church struggles to survive in Uruguay without external support. Statutory fees imposed by the state for the maintenance of Church properties are extremely high, while most priests live on the bare minimum.
The Diocese of Tacuarembo, for example, is in northern Uruguay and spans over 9,000 square miles. Twenty priests minister to 100,000 Catholics in 16 remote parishes. The faithful are widely dispersed, and adequately serving them on a limited income is no easy task. They rely on your Mass stipends.
We plan to help with stipends worth $10,600, or about $500 per priest. Will you join us in supporting the poor priests of Uruguay?
Aid to the Church in Need commits to invest your funds where they will have the greatest impact for the Church that we serve. Funds donated to Aid to the Church in Need’s projects will be used towards the greatest need in our programs to help keep the Faith alive.