Pontifical Council for the Pastoral
Care of Migrants and Itinerant People


XXIII World Congress of the Apostleship of the Sea

(Vatican City, 19-23rd November 2012)


Message to the people of the sea!


            Bishop Promoters, port chaplains and volunteers of the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) have gathered from November 19 -23, 2012, in the Synod Hall of the Vatican City for the XXIII World Congress, on the theme: New Evangelization in the maritime world (New ways and means to proclaim the Good News).

During the Congress we considered a variety of issues affecting your lives and work. We challenged ourselves to deepen our engagement with all sectors of the maritime world, to better understand the cultural and religious diversity among all seafaring nations and to support each other more effectively, particularly piracy victims, in a spirit of solidarity.

                We look forward to the full implementation of the ILO’s Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 and we undertake to renew our efforts to ensure ratification of the ILO Work on Fishing Convention 2007 (No. 188) and Recommendation, 2007 (No. 199). Both legal instruments should greatly improve your living and working conditions.

            We are inspired by your example of service to one another in the midst of uncertainty, isolation and danger. We learned from you how to live in a changing world in harmony with others and the environment. 

            Christ calls each one of us to turn to him to spread his message of love to all those we meet. Therefore, we renew our commitment to serve you and your families, confident in God’s love and the guidance of Our Lady, Star of the Sea.

            May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all and your families during this Christmas Season.