Close to 20 years ago, a Carmelite convent was founded just outside the city of Florida, in the south of Uruguay. Today there are 12 Carmelite Sisters here, living a life of perpetual prayer in accordance with the Rule of their foundress, the great saint, mystic and Doctor of the Church, Teresa of Avila.
Although Latin America as a whole is described as a ‘Catholic continent,’ Uruguay, the second smallest country in Latin America, actually has a long secular history behind it. In the 19th century, all public expression of religion was banned, banished to the private sphere, and the secularist government of the day engaged in numerous deliberate provocations against the Catholic Church.
Few people have summarized the importance of the priesthood more trenchantly than Saint Jean Marie Vianney, the famous Curé of Ars: “Without the sacrament of ordination, we would not have the Lord. Who placed him in the Tabernacle? The priest!”