Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
May God bless you during this holy season of Lent! This weekend, our archdiocese will take up The Catholic Relief Services Collection. Your support of this collection serves Jesus in the guise of the poor and vulnerable in some of the most marginalized communities in our world.
Sailors, fishers, harbor workers and their families have unique pastoral needs because of mariners’ long periods away from home. In addition to access to the Mass and sacraments on ships, seafarers also need hospitality and pastoral care in port cities as well as assistance with errands such as shopping and medical appointments. For the past hundred years, Stella Maris — also called Apostleship of the Sea — has ministered to the pastoral needs of mariners through chaplaincies and centers in port cities. This apostleship currently serves the community with more than 100 chaplains and lay ministers in 48 ports across the United States.
In November 2019, 21 bishops, 11 apostleship chaplains and lay ministers and staff from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees, and Travelers (PCMRT) gathered to discuss the experiences and challenges of chaplains and how best to take on the challenges of maritime ministry. They invited bishops to engage in efforts to raise awareness of the Apostleship of the Sea in their own dioceses. By gathering chaplains with bishops, the apostleship can address challenges in the maritime world and continue to meet the needs of mariners.
Apostleship of the Sea is one of the PCMRT ministries funded through The Catholic Relief Services collection, along with five other agencies that prioritize the family and protect the life and dignity of each human person. When you give, you help to support this and many other valuable ministries.
Your support of this collection makes a difference for so many around the globe. Please prayerfully consider how you can support the collection this year. To learn more about the collection and the people who benefit, please visit www.usccb.org/catholic-relief.
Sincerely yours in our Lord,
Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D.
Archbishop of Louisville