Sea Sunday 2024: Message from the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development

Message from Cardinal Michael Czerny on the occasion of Sea Sunday 2024

Sea Sunday 2024: Message from the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development

Every year on the second Sunday of July Sea Sunday is celebrated. The Catholic communities of the entire world pray for those who work in the maritime sector and for those who take care of them. For the occasion, the prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ, is sending a message to all people involved in this area and the chaplains and volunteers active in the pastoral care of seafarers.

Sea Sunday is an occasion to shed light on one of the sectors about which little is said but that is at the center of everyone’s lives. As the prefect’s message underscores, “seafarers are among the least visible members of all of humanity. And, it’s by way of their invisible efforts that we are able to receive many of our necessities.” They are efforts that often confront injustices, exploitation, and inequalities. That’s why the Church accompanies and defends the workers and, as Cardinal Czerny declares, “it’s wonderful when the volunteers, chaplains, and members of the local port churches who are engaged in maritime pastoral care defend the dignity and the rights of seafarers.”

It’s by way of the sea that the Church was formed and spread throughout the entire world. Sailing out and landing in faraway ports, the Apostles and missionaries brought the Good News out to the furthest corners of the Earth. The experience of that time can be an inspiration also for the Church of today because, as the Cardinal highlights, “every new embarcation that arrived meant more encounters and exchanges, greater openness to novelties and to the immense possibilities that were opened up beyond the coastal locales.”

The message is addressed to the seafarers of every provenance and faith because those who work in this sector come from all nations and profess all the religions of the world. The commitment of the Church is to include them without distinction to grow together in mutual understanding and solidarity so that “the people of the sea can feel part of the Church wherever they may go.”

24 June 2024