Today is the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea.
The day was established by the U.S. bishops in November 2005 to encourage U.S. Catholics to support, pray and remember those who work in the maritime world. Recent stories about piracy remind us all how dangerous that work can be.
Today’s observance also highlights the Catholic Church’s Apostleship of the Sea ministry. The apostleship is a worldwide Catholic ministry that provides spiritual help and practical assistance to seafarers, their families and all people of the sea. According to the U.S. bishops’ conference, there are apostleship chaplains and their ministry teams in 49 dioceses in 61 maritime posts.
Bishop J. Kevin Boland of Savannah, Ga., promoter of the apostleship, called on all dioceses to mark the special day of prayer “for the well-being 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.”
The day of prayer falls on the National Maritime Day observance, which commemorates the first transatlantic crossing by the steamship Savannah in 1819.