USCCB News Release
May 12, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22 Is National Day Of Prayer And Remembrance For Mariners And People Of The Sea
WASHINGTON—May 22nd is National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea. This day was established by the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in November 2005 to encourage Catholics in the country to support, pray and remember those who work in the maritime world.
In observance, the national office of the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) of the USCCB’s Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, will sponsor a Mass at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 21, at St. Dominic Church (630 E Street SW), a building with historic ties to Washington’s waterfront and to people who earn their living on the water. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, will be the principal celebrant and homilist. Expected to attend this year’s Mass are Maritime Administration (MARAD) officials, staff of the House of Representatives’ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, representatives of the Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board, the Philippines Ambassador to the USA, AOS chaplains, mariners and family members.
The day of prayer and remembrance is celebrated in conjunction with the National Maritime Day observance by the U.S. government, which also commemorates the first transatlantic crossing by the steamship Savannah in 1819.
Bishop J. Kevin Boland of Savannah, Promoter of the Apostleship of the Sea, encouraged dioceses to mark the 4th National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, “for the wellbeing and safety of maritime personnel, the vital role maritime workers play in the transport of goods by the waterways and the lives that have been lost at sea.” Bishop Boland said that remembrances could be in the form of special petitions in the Prayer of the Faithful, homilies, or a special Mass, using the text for the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea.”
The Apostleship of the Sea is a worldwide Catholic ministry for spiritual and practical assistance to seafarers, their families and all people of the sea. In the USA, AOS chaplains and their team are present in 49 dioceses in 61 maritime ports.
Ninety percent of the world’s goods are transported by sea and the waterways. There are approximately 1 million seafarers worldwide who man 10,000 commercial ships and maritime vessels. In 2006, there were 69,000 U.S. merchant mariners. Crewmembers from 123 countries were found in foreign flag vessels calling on US ports.
For more information about the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea, please contact the Apostleship of the Sea national office at 202-541-3035 or visit http://www.usccb.org/pcmrt/ and the Apostleship of the Sea in the United States website at http://www.aos-usa.org/.