On November 21, the Church celebrates the World Fisheries Day 2023, the theme of which is "Cast the Net," a motto inspired by the passage from the Gospel of John (Jn 21:6).
For this reason, the Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Cardinal Michael Czerny, published a message prior to this World Fisheries Day inviting all Christians to pray "for fishermen and their families".
In the message, Cardinal Czerny quotes several times from Pope Francis' recent Apostolic Exhortation Laudate Deum, a document in which the Holy Father again addresses the importance of caring for God's creation and warns of the consequences of the climate crisis.
“Fishing communities in many parts of the world are suffering. Economic problems and unfair competition threaten the survival of fishing, especially family-scale fishery,” the Cardinal acknowledged.
The Prefect then thanked the fishermen for the valuable work they do because “they are stewards of a delicate equilibrium and even pioneers of integral ecology” since “theirs is a strenuous, wearisome and often socially unrecognized activity”.
In addition, Cardinal Czerny recalled that “fishing feeds many populations of the world. This is why the daily gesture of casting nets, coupled with deep respect for the generosity of creation, is so meaningful”.
“Dear fishers, your simple faith enriches the Church that is living in a time of Synod. You are building the Church, uniting faith, and work every day... With intelligence and freedom, please join the Church in taking care of humanity. As guardians of the sea and honest workers, help the Church to cast its nets tirelessly, thereby transforming humanity into a family of brothers and sisters, and transforming earth, sea and sky into a new creation”, concluded the Cardinal.