National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea on May 22

May 5, 2022 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON - Bishop Brendan J. Cahill of Victoria, bishop promoter of Stella Maris, the apostolate of the Catholic Church for the people of the sea, is inviting dioceses in the United States to mark the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea on May 22.

To mark National Maritime Day, Bishop Cahill will celebrate Mass on Saturday, May 21 at 12:10 p.m. at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Crypt Church) in Washington. The maritime industry is a vital part of the world’s economy and notably, many of the United States ports are the gateway for international trade and cruise vacations. The annual National Maritime Day celebration is an opportunity to applaud the important work of seafarers and helps to create awareness for their around the clock work, that often goes unrecognized. Bishop Cahill is encouraging dioceses to remember seafarers in their homilies, special petitions during Mass, and other maritime events. When Mass is celebrated on May 22, the text for the Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea, is also encouraged.

In the face of the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Stella Maris National Office continues to support and celebrate the men and women of the sea. The impact of the pandemic and the stress it has caused on seafarers calls for action, especially to ensure the health and wellbeing of mariners and their families. “The world may have come to a standstill during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the ships have never stopped sailing from port to port, delivering critical medical equipment and medicines to support the fight against the spread of the virus.  Some 90% of world trade is carried by ships or, more accurately, by the 1.7 million seafarers who work on the ships,” said Cardinal Peter Turkson during the Sea Sunday celebration, on July 11, 2021. Serving at that time as prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Cardinal Turkson stressed the importance of celebrating and acknowledging the remarkable work of seafarers and the sacrifices of their families.

National Maritime Day is an opportunity to recognize the hardworking men and women of the U.S. Merchant Marine, seafarers, fishers, port personnel and all who work or travel on the high seas for the vital services they provide in support of our nation’s economic well-being and national security. Seafarers are a large migrant population in the world today, many of whom are Catholic Christians and unseen by the world. Stella Maris chaplains welcome, reach out to and celebrate seafarers and their families, and all who work or travel on the seas. Through the celebration of the Eucharist and the proclamation of the Word of God, as well as providing other vital services and necessities, Catholic chaplaincy teams fulfill the mission of the Church and help seafarers discover the loving presence of God in an often-challenging world.

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi