I continue to be amazed at the breadth of (liturgical) informations online, opening up worlds I knew nothing about. Today, July 14th — the second Sunday in July — is Sea Sunday, a “time of remembrance, prayer and also celebration to thank the people of the sea for the service they render to the world community,” according to the message of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People published on the Vatican website.
Who knew? (And I write as someone whose parish is in a shoreline town; our sanctuary is graced by two ship replicas hanging from the ceiling in the side Chapel).
The Catholic Church, I found out, also has a specific ministry to seafarers, the Apostolate of the Sea, founded in 1920. According to the Vatican website, there are an estimated 1.2 to 1.5 million seafarers sailing the world ocean today. Pope Frances, earlier this week, lifted up in a poignant visit to the island of Lampedusa the fate of African migrants and refugees fleeing by boat to the European coast. “Sea Sunday” is for them, too. I only wish someone would also lift up the suffering of the world ocean itself and of its many inhabitants, all imperiled by rising sea-levels, intensifying storm activity, coastal erosion, waste pollution, over-fishing, etc. More information can be found on the Oceana website at http://www.oceana.org/north-america/.
A Blessed Sea Sunday to all!