WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Catholic ministry whose work includes caring for the spiritual life of those who work in the seas announced Bishop Brendan J. Cahill of Victoria, Texas, as its new bishop promoter in the United States.
Bishop Cahill succeeds now-retired Bishop J. Kevin Boland of Savannah, Georgia, who has served as bishop promoter of the Apostleship of the Sea since February 2008.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank Bishop Cahill for accepting to assume this important pastoral responsibility,” said Sister Joanna Okereke, national director of Apostleship of the Sea.
One of his tasks will be to promote Apostleship of the Sea ministry in the country’s various dioceses and archdioceses that have ports and encourage interest in the apostolate among his fellow bishops, said Sister Okereke, a Sister of the Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus.
The Apostleship of the Sea reaches out to seafarers, fishers, their families, port personnel and all who work or travel on the high seas, Sister Okereke said, adding that ministry shows the Catholic Church’s care and concern to those who cannot participate in regular parish life because of the nature of their work. The apostleship, which operates under the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, uses a network of port chaplains, lay volunteers, as well as facilities at ports to provide spiritual and other assistance.
The work of the Apostleship of the Sea in the U.S. began in 1976 and it’s part of the Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees and Travelers in the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington. However, the ministry began in Scotland in 1920. While there’s a spiritual side, the ministry days these days has come to also include being a voice against smuggling and human trafficking affecting workers in the fishing and maritime industries.
Bishop Cahill, the incoming promoter, was actively involved in port ministry in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston prior to his appointment as bishop of Victoria. He was ordained a bishop and installed to head the Texas diocese in 2015.
“His leadership and experience in maritime ministry will be beneficial to foster the work of the maritime apostolate,” said Sister Okereke.