USCCB News Release
April 29, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SAVANNAH BISHOP APPOINTED HEAD OF THE APOSTLESHIP OF THE SEA
WASHINGTON— Bishop J. Kevin Boland of the Diocese of Savannah, Georgia, has been appointed National Bishop Promoter of the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) by Cardinal Francis George, president of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). As Bishop Promoter, Bishop Boland is responsible for fostering the work of the maritime apostolate among the U.S. bishops and overseeing the work of the AOS national director. The appointment was effective February 28.
Bishop Boland served on the USCCB Pastoral Practices Committee, as chairman of the USCCB Committee on Marriage and Family Life from 2001-2003, and remains a committee consultant. From 2002 – 2005 he was a member of the USCCB Budget and Finance Committee. In 2006, he became a member of the Bishops' Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People and was elected to the Board of Catholic Relief Services. In January 2008, Bishop Boland became a member of the Subcommittee on the Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees and Travelers.
The Diocese of Savannah with more than 73 thousand Catholics, has an active Apostleship of the Sea Ministry. The Port of Savannah is among the top 20 ports in the country. The Apostleship of the Sea is the work of the Catholic Church in the maritime world. It started in Glasgow, Scotland in 1920, and has since extended its mission in many countries. The international AOS is based in the Vatican under the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. The AOS reaches out to mariners, fishermen, their families and all who work and travel on the waterways of the world.
Bishop Boland will oversee the pastoral activities of about 81 AOS chaplains and their pastoral teams, active in 61 U.S. ports in 49 dioceses. The AOS offers spiritual and material assistance to seafarers, who are often away from home and unable to participate in regular parish life. He will also guide the Cruise Ship Priest Program, administered by Apostleship of the Sea USA (AOSUSA), a national membership organization of chaplains, deacons and laity to ensure that priests in good standing serve on cruise ships. There are about 645 cruise ship priest members.
Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, President of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, praised the appointment.
"Bishop Boland's experience with the maritime ministry will be most useful in helping him to carry out successfully his mandate," Cardinal Martino said, and pledged the support of the Pontifical Council. The National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea is celebrated annually on May 22, to coincide with the National Maritime Day in the United States of America.
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