In Uruguay the Catholic Church holds a far less influential position in society than in most other countries of Latin America. Only around 30% of the country‘s 3.5 million or so citizens declare themselves as Catholics, and religious faith and practice have been largely relegated to the private sphere.

This, the second smallest country of Latin America has a long history of secularism, a process that began well back in the middle of the 19th century. To this day, Christian feast days are not officially recognised by the state, so that Christmas Day is officially marked on the calendar as “Family Day”, while Holy Week and Easter have become “Tourism Week”. And not surprisingly, many of the country‘s laws are in direct contradiction to the teachings of
the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church in Uruguay has just one single seminary for the entire country, in the capital Montevideo, where the seminarians from all nine dioceses of the country receive their formation. Currently there are 16 young men preparing for this difficult priestly service.

Many priests in Uruguay live in deep poverty, and the Church is dependent on outside support. The running of the seminary is a heavy financial burden, but the formation of these future priests is a vitally important task if the Catholic faith in the country is to have a future. ACN is therefore proposing to support the seminary with a contribution for the current academic year.