WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration annually honors the hardworking men and women in “Maritime Service to America” with the National Maritime Day Observance and Wreath-Laying ceremony. In conjunction with National Maritime Day in the United States of America, the day honors those who serve as merchant mariners, seafarers, fishers, port personnel and all who work or travel on the high seas, along with the families of these workers.
Bishop Brendan Cahill, of the Diocese of Victoria, Texas, and Promoter of the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS), encourages parish and diocesan observances through the celebration of Mass and other activities. The faithful can support and participate in prayer services and remembrance ceremonies at their local ports and maritime communities. All dioceses are encouraged to celebrate the “National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners” to express gratitude to seafarers, fishers, their families, port personnel and all who work or travel on seas.
Deacon Paul Rosenblum, who serves as Apostleship of the Sea Port Minister for the Diocese of Charleston, S.C., pointed out how much we rely on the men and women who work on cargo ships —sometimes for eight months at a stretch — delivering goods such as electronic devices, toys, clothes and so much more to our shores.
“We depend on mariners for so much, yet we don’t often realize it,” Deacon Rosenblum said. “Take a few moments to pray for the safety and well-being of these men and women … Without them our lives are very different.”
Bishop Cahill will celebrate a Mass in observance of Maritime Day on May 18 at 12:10 p.m. in the Crypt Church at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The AOS and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church sponsor this prayerful observance.
In over 50 ports, there are more than 100 AOS chaplains, maritime deacons and lay ecclesial ministers who participate in the mission of Christ by sharing the gift of love. They welcome, network and reach out to seafarers, fisher men and women, their families, and all who work or travel on the seas. Through the celebration of the Eucharist and the Word of God, the chaplaincy team helps seafarers discover the loving presence of God in an often challenging world. Their continued presence for pastoral ministry is a clear evidence of their dedication and joy for the ministry.