Sea Sunday is the day set by many Christian Churches to remember, celebrate, pray for seafarers and their families and give thanks for their lives and work. It is officially held on the second Sunday in July. Seafarers work tirelessly in the high seas throughout the year bringing us more than ninety percent of the goods we need. In a message published on July 7, Cardinal Turkson, the prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, spoke of the additional challenges that seafarers have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Such challenges have included extended periods of work without contracts and without shore leave. Some unscrupulous employers abandoned ships and crew at sea. These add to other ever-present dangers for those working on the oceans, such as piracy and storms. Cardinal Turkson offered a reminder in his message of the important role such workers have played during a global pandemic. “The world may have come to a standstill but the ships have never stopped sailing from port to port delivering critical medical equipment and medicines to support the fight against the spread of the virus,” he stated. “This emphasises that the maritime industry is a vital part of the world’s economy. Some 90 per cent of the world trade is carried by ships or, more accurately, by the 1.7 million seafarers who work on the ships.” In the Catholic Church, Sea Sunday is supported by Stella Maris around the world. Parishioners have the opportunity to support this Catholic ministry through the Sea Sunday appeal. Its Stella Maris centres support seafarers’ welfare, and provide pastoral care and hospitality. Donations may be forwarded to Stella Maris website at: stellamarisaustralia.org or you may put a donation in an envelope marked ‘Stella Maris’ in our collection basket. All donations will be forwarded to them at the end of July.
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