Special Mass Offerings for 18 elderly priests in need
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! Who welcomed your soul at its first entry into life? The priest! Who nourishes it in order to give it the strength to complete its pilgrimage? The priest! Who will prepare it to appear before God by washing it for the last time in the blood of Christ? The priest; always the priest.”
The Catholic Church in Uruguay has considerably less influence in society than it does in other Latin American countries. Only a little over half the population claim to be Catholic, religion has largely been banished to the private sphere. Needless to say, many aspects of the law are also in direct contradiction with Catholic teachings. The Catholic Church in Uruguay has considerably less influence in society than it does in other Latin American countries. Only a little over half the population claim to be Catholic, religion has largely been banished to the private sphere.
There are over 400,000 priests in the world in whose hands the bread and wine of the Eucharist are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ. Among them are 18 frail and elderly priests living in a retirement home for priests in Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital. Many of these hands have aged and the priests are perhaps also sick, a few barely have strength to elevate the Chalice. Nonetheless, they continue faithfully and tirelessly celebrating the Sacrifice of Christ.
Since mid-19th century, Uruguay, the second smallest country in Latin America, has had a long history with secularism. In 1859, the Jesuits were banished from the land and 12 years later all the cemeteries were seized by the state. Anticlerical, liberal elements engaged in constant provocations. For example, deliberately providing free barbecue grills on Good Friday, and inviting everyone to use them. Finally, in 1917 the strict separation Church and State was enshrined in the Constitution. Officially, there are no Christian feasts in Uruguay. Consequently, instead of Christmas, the official calendar has a “Family Day” and Holy Week is a “Week of Tourism.”
Many Catholic priests in Uruguay live on the edge of poverty, especially those who are elderly and sick. The 18 elderly priests in the priests’ retirement home in Montevideo have spent their lives faithfully serving God and the Church. Now that they have come to the evening of their lives, they deserve to receive loving care and gratitude for their service.
We propose to help them with Mass Offerings which will allow them to celebrate Holy Mass for the intentions of our benefactors. This allows you, our benefactors to contribute something towards the Church in need through this retirement home – and allows these priests to provide for their own simple personal needs, such as medication, etc.
We are giving a total of $22,000, to ensure each of these priests will receive $120 per month as an expression of our love and gratitude for their lifetime service.