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Pontifical Council

Pontifical Council

For the Pastoral Care of Migrants & Itinerant People

Pontifical CouncilIn March 1970, Pope Paul VI established the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants & Itinerant People with the task of providing pastoral care to people on the move such as: migrants, refugees, seafarers & fishermen, nomads, circus people. The Church thereby promotes the pastoral care of people on the move through the Apostleship of the Sea

  • by working to ensure that Christian people become aware of the needs of seafarers & fishers, especially on the occasion of Sea Sunday and World Maritime Day, and
  • ensuring that Christian people effectively demonstrate a fraternal attitude to people on the move within their community

The Council is commissioned with encouraging, nurturing & supporting the Church in her apostolic work of caring for the people of the sea. This is done by regular meetings with regional co-ordinators, publications the World Congress every five years.

In 2002 Apostleship of the Sea gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for such a World Congress to deliberate Meeting the Challenges of the New Globalised World. Globalisation can and must be given a human face. This is the task which the international network of the Apostleship of the Sea gladly accepts as we remember the words of Our Lord,

Do not be afraid, I am with you always. (Matt 28:20)

In 2007 Apostleship of the Sea again gathered for the World Congress in Gdynia, Poland. Delegates pledged to remain In Solidarity with the People of the Sea as Witnesses of Hope through Proclamation of the Word, Liturgy and Diakonia and to advocate a maritime humanism.

Photograph: The late Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, President of the PCMI, receives a copy of the Stella Maris icon from Bishop Tom Burns of AOS Great Britain, accompanied by Mgr Jacques Harel of the AOS International Office.

The task of the Apostleship of the Sea is clear: it is to contribute to the best of our ability, to bringing this globalisation of solidarity in the maritime world, in spite of the ever increasing and often threatening impact of certain economic globalisation on the life and work of maritime people. The Gospel values will be finally the gauge with which to judge the work of the Apostleship of the Sea.

Cardinal Stephen Hamao
President of the Pontifical Council for the Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, 1998 – 2006

 

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