WASHINGTON— The National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea will be celebrated May 22. The day is observed in conjunction with National Maritime Day in the United States, which has been celebrated since 1933, to recognize merchant mariners and others in the maritime industry.
"Pope Francis has called on those who work for the well being of seafarers and families to 'be the voice' of those workers who live far from their loved ones and face dangerous and difficult situations," said Bishop J. Kevin Boland, retired bishop of Savannah, Georgia, and Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) promoter. He encouraged dioceses to mark the national day by remembering the men and women of the sea.
Ninety percent of the world's goods are transported by sea and the waterways. Approximately 1.2 million seafarers work worldwide in 10,000 commercial ships and maritime vessels. The Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) is a worldwide Catholic maritime ministry for the spiritual and practical assistance to seafarers, fishermen, their families and all those who work and travel by sea and the waterways.
The National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea was designated in 2005, to encourage the faithful in the country to support, remember and pray for merchant mariners, fishermen, port personnel and those in the maritime industry.
Bishop Boland will be the celebrant of a special Mass in observance of the National Day of Prayer, on May 25, at noon, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. The Mass is open to the public and sponsored by the AOS national office and the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).