Every year, on the second Sunday of July, Christian communities around the world celebrate Sea Sunday to remind our communities on the essential work of more than a million seafarers.
In Australia, Stella Maris and other Christian providers of welfare services, encourage everyone to pray for the safety, good health and good working conditions for seafarers.
A few weeks ago, Ray Collins, Chair of the National Committee of Stella Maris, wrote to the Bishops of Australia to emphasise the important work of the seafarers in the provision of most of our daily needs and to obtain their support for the Sea Sunday appeal.
Sea Sunday Resources were distributed to the dioceses and parishes to assist them in celebrating Sea Sunday and in supporting the annual appeal.
Cardinal Michael Czerny S.J., new Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, in his message for Sea Sunday on 10 July 2022 said:
“Now is the time to try and imagine seafarers’ life and the daily challenges they endure for us. Over recent years the maritime world has been hit by a series of crises. Increased demand for goods has led to more ships being held at anchorage for longer periods of time. The war in Ukraine means that ships now face the impossible task of navigating through the mines in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.”
Cardinal Czerny SJ pointed out: “The global pandemic meant that over 400,000 seafarers have been stuck on board, unable to leave the ship at the end of their contracts and return home to their families. Instead, they continue to work every day becoming increasingly exhausted. Replacement crews have been unable to join ships which has spelled economic disaster for some because they have been unable to provide for the daily needs of their loved ones.”
Marking this annual appeal, Roslyn Rajasingam, National Director of Stella Maris Australia, thanks seafarers for their hard work and perseverance even during a pandemic and asks Catholic communities “to pray for seafarers to have the strength to endure the harshness of the oceans and face their challenges in life.” Mrs Rajasingam added: “We also entrust to Mary, Star of the Sea, all Stella Maris chaplains, managers, volunteers and supporters who welcome and support the seafarers. May they continue to heed Jesus’ call to ‘go and do likewise.’”
Parishioners are invited to visit the Stella Maris website on www.stellamarisaustralia.org to read the full message of Cardinal Czerny, learn more about this Catholic ministry and to donate to this national appeal.