In 2014, Pope Francis called on those who work for the wellbeing of seafarers and their families to ‘be the voice of those workers who live far from their loved ones and face dangerous and difficult situations.’
On Sunday 10 July, we celebrate Sea Sunday—a national appeal undertaken by the Catholic Church in Australia each year on the second Sunday in July to raise awareness of the needs of seafarers, those seldom recognised but vital workers who keep our economies going, often at great personal cost to themselves and their families.
Each year, more than 28,000 merchant ships—crewed by more than 300,000 seafarers—visit Australian ports. Stella Maris seafarers’ ministry runs seafarers’ welfare services centres in all the major Australian ports and offers chaplaincy services in many others. Stella Maris Seafarer Centres are places where the stranger is welcomed, and where volunteers assist seafarers to keep in touch with their families.
On Sea Sunday, parishes are encouraged to acknowledge the work of seafarers and pray for their safety. It is also an opportunity to respond to the call to mission that we all share.
To assist parishes to celebrate Sea Sunday, the following resources have been prepared by Stella Maris Australia: