WASHINGTON—The National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and Peopleof the Sea will be celebrated May22. The day is observed in conjunction with National Maritime Day in the UnitedStates of America, which has been celebrated since 1933 to honor those whoserve as merchant mariners and to recognize the benefits of the maritimeindustry.
Bishop J. Kevin Boland, bishop emeritusof Savannah, Georgia and Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) promoter, encourageddioceses to mark the national day by remembering the men and women of the seain homilies and by including special petitions during Mass. When Mass iscelebrated on May 22, the text for theVotive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea, is encouraged.
“In a special way, let us rememberthose who have lost their lives at sea and those in dangerous situations,”Bishop Boland said.
Bishop Boland will celebrate a Massin observance of Maritime Day on Sunday, May 20, at 10 a.m., in the CryptChurch at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception inWashington. The Mass is sponsored by the AOS national office and the Secretariatof Cultural Diversity in the Church of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops(USCCB).
Last year, in his Angelus message onSea Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI remembered the people of the sea and thehardships they and their families face.
“I address a special thought to thechaplains and volunteers who are doing their utmost for the pastoral care ofseafarers, including fishers and their families,” the pope said. “I also assurethe seafarers, who are unfortunately held hostage through acts of piracy, of myprayers. I hope they will be treated with respect and humanity, and I pray fortheir relatives, that they may be strong in faith and not to lose the hope ofbeing reunited with their loved ones soon.”
Ninety percent of the world’s goodsare transported by sea and the waterways. There are approximately 1.2 millionseafarers worldwide in 10,000 commercial ships and maritime vessels.
AOS is a worldwideCatholic maritime ministry for the spiritual and practical assistance toseafarers, fishermen, their families and all those who work and travel by seaand the waterways. In the USA, AOS chaplains, associates and volunteers carryon this ministry in 58 maritime ports encompassing 48 dioceses.
There are a great number of peoplewho participate in and benefit from this ministry. On the occasion of theNational Day of Remembrance, individuals and chaplaincies have shared personalaccounts of the impact and reach of this ministry through the USCCB- AOS site: http://www.usccb.org/aos. The stories areavailable at: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/cultural-diversity/pastoral-care-of-migrants-refugees-and-travelers/apostleship-of-the-sea/aos-news-and-events.cfm.
The USCCB established the NationalDay of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea in 2005 toencourage Catholics in the country to support, remember and pray for merchantmariners/seafarers, fishermen, port personnel and those in the maritimeindustry.
---MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:Don ClemmerO: 202-541-3206Eamil
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