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- World Congress

World Congress

XXII AOS World Congress
Gdynia, Poland, 24-29 June 2007

In solidarity with the People of the Sea as witnesses of hope,
through proclamation of the Word, Liturgy and Diakonia.

The Congress was attended by 270 delegates from 60 countries. Delegates included clergy, lay employees, volunteers, maritime personnel, observers and guests. The Congress gathered together to reflect on the spirituality of the Apostleship of the Sea and its specific contribution to the maritime world.

The theme of the congress was "In Solidarity with the People of the Sea as Witnesses of Hope through Proclamation of the Word, Liturgy and Diakonia". Inspired by this theme, the Apostleship of the Sea is called to bring a "Christian humanism of hope" to the maritime world, through our presence and testimony in seafaring and fishing communities.

The Church's deepest nature is expressed in her three-fold responsibility:

  • of proclaiming the word of God (kerygma-martyria),
  • celebrating the sacraments (leitourgia), and
  • exercising the ministry of charity (diakonia).

These duties presuppose each other and are inseparable. For the Church, charity is not a kind of welfare activity which could equally well be left to others, but is part of her nature, an indispensable expression of her very being.
(Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, Para 25)

These words of Pope Benedict XVI encapsulate the principles of the Catholic Church and all her agencies. The Apostleship of the Sea is the apostolic work of the Catholic Church caring for the People of the Sea, the Church for all those who make their living from the oceans of the world: seafarers, fishers, their families, and their communities.

gdynia
The XXII AOS World Congress logo is centred on the Cross. The circle represents our world with seafarers moving from the deepest blue of the ocean into the lighter areas which culminate with the Church represented by the illuminated area. The red at the foot of the Cross represents the sacrifice of Christ for us all.

The diamond represents the national colours of Poland and the four points of the compass. The surrounding square encompasses other elements of the logo and symbolises solidarity. The anchor, the maritime symbol par excellence and symbol of our faith and hope, stretches across the world embracing all nations, races and creeds and, of course, the People of the Sea.

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