Apostleship of the Sea

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Opus Apostolatus Maris, an international association for the spiritual care of seafarers, was founded by a priest and two lay Catholics, Rev. Donald Macintosh, Arthur Gannon, and Peter Anson in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1920. Two years later Archbishop Mackintosh of Glasgow secured the blessing of Pius XI and a letter of approval for the society dedicated to prayer and good works for seafarers. By 1927, 200 churches in various ports of the world were designated as centers for seafarers. In 1942 the Consistorial Congregation assumed jurisdiction over both the port and ship chaplains, and in 1952 the apostolic constitution Exsul familia established the general secretariate in Rome. In 1957 Pius XII promulgated a series of laws and statutes for the organization and guidance of the movement. John XXIII granted special supplementary faculties to chaplains in 1961. In the United States the office of episcopal moderator of the Apostleship of the Sea was established in 1951. The apostleship chaplain has the care of souls of maritime personnel both ashore and at sea. He serves seafarers aboard ship and in port, at navigational academies and in maritime hospitals; he is responsible for arrangements necessary for the proper liturgical celebration of Mass by all priests making a sea voyage. His faculties include the administration of the sacraments to seafarers under special conditions. Traditionally the Apostleship of the Sea ministers to all seafarers, with special concern for foreign seafarers of all faiths. The Apostleship of the Sea comes under general supervision of the Pontifical Council for Migrants & Itinerant People in Rome. The general headquarters of the apostleship is in Rome.

Bibliography: pius XII, "Exsul familia" (Apostolic Constitution, August 1, 1952) Acta Apostolicae Sedis 44 (1952) 649704. v. a. yzermans, American Catholic Seafarers' Church: A Narrative History of the Apostleship of the Sea and the National Catholic Conference for Seafarers in the United States (Washington, DC 1995). d. zimmerman, A Guide to the Archives: Records of the Catholic Maritime Clubs and the National Conference of the Apostleship of the Sea (Staten Island 1989).

[m. f. connolly/eds.]