“. . . I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Mt 25:35)
The Apostleship of the Sea is the Church among the People of the Sea. It is the apostolic work of the Catholic Church caring for seafarers, fishers and their families. We offer pastoral care to those in need; solidarity with the oppressed; welcome and hospitality to those on the move; and spiritual sustenance to the poor, enabling seafarers and fishers to be the light of Christ for each other.As Jesus washed the feet of His disciples at the last supper to demonstrate, even at the institution of the Eucharist, that the Eucharistic community is committed to hospitality and service, this apostolic work of the Church cares for the people of the sea: for the pastoral, social, and material welfare of all seafarers and fishers regardless of colour, race or creed.
Life at sea means long periods of separation from family and community. Globalisation has meant fierce competition, low wages and in some cases harsh working conditions. Apostleship of the Sea, through its chaplains and seafarers centres, works in solidarity with all those whose lives depend on the sea, offering them hospitality and pastoral care.
Those who practise charity in the Church’s name will never seek to impose the Church’s faith upon others. They realise that a pure and generous love is the best witness to the God in whom we believe and by whom we are driven to love. A Christian knows when it is time to speak of God and when it is better to say nothing and to let love alone speak. (Deus Caritas Est Para 31)
“The task of the Apostleship of the Sea is clear: it is to contribute to the best of our ability, to bringing this globalisation of solidarity in the maritime world, in spite of the ever increasing and often threatening impact of certain economic globalisation on the life and work of maritime people. The Gospel values will be finally the gauge with which to judge the work of the Apostleship of the Sea”
Cardinal Stephen Hamao
President of the Pontifical Council for the Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, 1998 – 2006
Mission to Seafarers
“In fulfilling this mission to seafarers, you face a most challenging and difficult task. You are dealing with people who live in a dispersed milieu. They face painful problems, such as separation from family and friends and the resulting feelings of isolation and loneliness; for extended periods of time they live and work at a great distance from a territorial parish. In a real sense, the seafaring world has become a missionary world.
“Remember that you are not alone in this awesome task. The whole Church is one with you in solicitude and prayer. The local Churches have a special role to play in the pastoral care of seafarers and other migrant groups”. John Paul II, 27 Oct-82.