WASHINGTON—The National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea will be celebrated on Monday, May 23. The day is observed in conjunction with National Maritime Day in the United States, which has been celebrated since 1933, to recognize merchant mariners and others in the maritime industry.
The Apostleship of the Sea ministry is active in 48 dioceses in the country, providing pastoral outreach in nearly 53 maritime ports in 26 states with a network of about 92 chaplains, priests, religious, deacons and lay ministers.
"In this Jubilee Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis, may we bring the opportunity of encountering the mercy of God to our brothers and sisters who are seafarers, fishermen, and those whose occupations require them to spend most of the year away from their families, in the high seas, and sometimes facing dangerous situations," said Bishop J. Kevin Boland, retired bishop of Savannah, Georgia, and Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) promoter. "They too are our brothers and sisters with spiritual needs, may we accompany them in their joys and trials in life, so they may also grow in faith and understanding of God's love."
Special Masses will be celebrated in observance of the National Day of Prayer on Friday, May 20, at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, located at 3211Fourth Street NE Washington DC. 20017 at noon, and at 12:10 p.m., on Saturday, May 21, at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.
Bishop Boland also encouraged dioceses to mark the national day by remembering the men and women of the sea in homilies and by including special petitions during Mass. When Mass is celebrated on May 22, the text for the Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea, is encouraged. The local AOS chaplaincies are encouraged to commemorate the National Day according to their pastoral realities.
The National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea was designated in 2005 to encourage the faithful in the country to support, remember and pray for merchant mariners, fishermen, port personnel and those in the maritime industry.
Ninety percent of the world's goods are transported by sea and the waterways. There are approximately 1.2 million seafarers worldwide in 10,000 commercial ships and maritime vessels. AOS is a worldwide Catholic maritime ministry of spiritual and practical assistance to seafarers, fishermen, their families and all those who work in this industry and travel by sea and the waterways.
The Apostleship of the Sea is part of the Subcommittee on Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees and Travelers of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church. More information is available at www.usccb.org/aos.
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Apostleship of the Sea, Bishop J. Kevin Boland, Apostleship of the Sea, Subcommittee on Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees and Travelers, Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, maritime ministry, seafarers, fishermen, mariners,
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Norma Montenegro Flynn
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