XXII world congress - abbey

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XXII world congress

Apostleship of the Sea


Gdynia. Poland - June 24 -29. 2007

In Solidarity with the People of the Sea as Witnesses of Hope,through Proclamation of the Word, Liturgyand Diakonia

         En Solidarite avec les Gens de Mer, Temoins d'esperancepar la Parole, la Liturgie et la Diaconie

    In solidarieta con la Gente del Mare,Testimoni di speranza con la Parola di Dio, la Liturgia e la Diakonia

En solidaridad con la Gente del Mar,testigos de esperanza por la Palabra de Dios, la Liturgia y la Diaconia

Every five years our Pontifical Council organizes a World Congress of the Apostleship of the Sea. In this connection, we publish some preliminary information regarding our next meeting.

After consultation, it was decided to hold this XXII Congress in Gdynia, Poland, from June 24-29, 2007 on the theme "In Solidarity with the People of the Sea as Witnesses of Hope, through Proclamation of the Word, Li­turgy and Diakonia". The subject will be pastoral and this will enable us to deepen the spirituality of our Or­ganization in a world that is increasingly marked by lack of hope. Through our reflection, prayer and shar­ing, we will try to understand better our vocation and pastoral commitment in favor of the People of the Sea through our everyday witness, celebration of faith and service of charity.

On the morning of Sunday, June 24th, before the official opening of the Congress, that will take place in the afternoon, we will hold a reflection meeting reserved for the Bishop Promoters, Regional Coordinators and National Directors. The purpose of this meeting is to define the role of the Bishop Promoters better and identify the means to develop greater communion between the local Church and the Apostleship of the Sea.

It is customary for the World Congress to be prepared by regional meetings. You are thus encourage to organize these meetings, which will make a first study of the theme, an assessment of A.M.'s evolution, since the XXI Congress in Rio de Janeiro in 2002, and also an evaluation of the most pressing pastoral questions based as well on a survey that will be prepared.

A World Congress is surely an important moment in the life of the Apostleship of the Sea; we are there-fore counting on everyone's cooperation so that this Congress will bear significant fruits. In the following pages you will find the advanced information which is being sent to AOS worldwide.

           Sunday June 24, 2007

 Meeting of Bishop Promoters and National Directors

.The aim of this meeting is to encourage an open discussion on:
 The role of the bishop promoter to foster communion with the local Church (national directors, chaplains, volunteers and parishes)
The AOS as an integral part of the local Church: problems and results.

 09,00    Presentation by a panel of National Directors of the main problems and needs of national or local AOS, followed by general discussion. The Results of the questionnaire/survey will constitute the basis of this session.

 10,30     Coffee break
11,00     Round Table: The role of the bishop promoter:
12,30     Lunch

Formal Opening of the Congress
16,30      Eucharistic Celebration,
18,00    Greetings and welcome: Followed by Dinner

 Monday June 25, 2007

08,45    Morning prayers.
09,00 -11,30 Morning Session
12,00           Eucharistic Celebration
13,00           Lunch
15,00-18,00 Afternoon Session
     19,00          Supper
Hospitality room

   Tuesday 26, June 2007

08,45     Morning prayers.
09,00-11,30 Morning session
12,00          Eucharistic Celebration
13,00          Lunch
15,00-18,00 Afternoon Session
  19,00            Supper

After supper: Regional meetings and nomination of candidates for Regional Coordinators

Hospitality room

 Wednesday 27, June 2007

08,30               Eucharistic Celebration
09,25-11,30 Morning Session
12,00                Lunch
14,30 - 16,00 Afternoon Sess
16,15             Departure for Gdansk, visit of the city

       Return to the hotel in the evening.

   Thursday 28, June 2007

08,45         Morning prayers
08,55-11,30 Morning Session
12,00          Eucharistic celebration
13,00           Lunch
15,00-18,00 Afternoon Session
   19,00            Supper
Hospitality room

    Friday 29, June 2007: Feast of St. Peter and Paul


       08,30          Morning prayers.
08,45          Concluding Session
        Presentation of the final document
Message to the maritime world
Press release or Press Conference
10,30           Departure for the "Festival of the Sea" and Eucharistic Celebration.
Hospitality room

Saturday 30, June 2007

        Departure of participants


In Solidarity with the People of the Sea as Witnesses of Hope,
through Proclamation of the Word, Liturgy and Diakonia

       1. In preparation to the next AOS World Congress, we have received numerous suggestions to the effect that its theme should be "pastoral" and that we should take this occasion to better understand our vocation and pastoral com­mitment in favor of the People of the Sea. We believe that this suggestion is timely, as there has already been many initiatives and efforts in that direction in many parts of the world in recent years. The word "pastoral" is taken here in the wide sense, as we do not want to exclude in our apostolate anything that is inherent to the life and work of the men and women of the sea. It is hoped that this will be also an opportunity for AOS to reflect on and take stock on what constitutes its spirituality and its specific contribution to the maritime world.

       2.  The maritime profession remains today one of the most difficult, demanding and dangerous occupations in the world. The seafarers, fishers and their families are facing all manners of difficulties and dangers and they are the first ones to suffer the negative effects of globalization (see Final Document of Rio World Congress, 2002). Our reflection and commitment towards the people of the sea is rooted in the conviction expressed by the Second Vatican Council that: "The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts" (Gaudium et Spes, Preface).

       3. Amid new pressures and new threats against the working and living conditions of seafarers and their families, AOS vocation is to stand alongside them, in their struggle for more dignity when their rights are ignored and "to sup-port the work of the faithful who are called to witness to their Christian life in this sphere" (Motu Proprio, Stella Maris, Art I). In a world which is increasingly marked by lack of hope, we do so by keeping the virtue of hope alive in our hearts and by looking for the signs of its presence in the maritime world. As " Church we have the responsibility of read­ing the signs of time and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel... we should be able to answer the ever recurring questions which men ask about the meaning of this present life and of the life to come           We must be able to understand the aspirations, the yearnings and the often dramatic features of the world in which we live " (G.S N°4). With this in mind we shall, during the Congress, examine our present and future involvement as a Church organization in a maritime world in constant evolution, with particular reference to merchant ships, fishing vessels, cruise ships, yachts, port workers, seafarers' family organizations, mari­time students, etc.

       4. After reflection and consultation it was decided that our Congress be "developed" around 2 main notions: "witnessing" and "hope" inspired by 1 Peter 3:15-17:" Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you aboutyour hope. Give a kind and respectful answer and keep your conscience clear. "

       These two realities will be articulated around Proclamation of the Word, Liturgy and Diakonia, bearing in mind the Holy Father Benedict XXVI's teaching in his Encyclical "Deus Caritas Est": "The Church's deepest nature is expressed in her three fold responsibility: of proclaiming the word of God (kerygma-maryna), 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 a part of her nature, an indispensable expression of her very being" (N.25).

       This Congress will be a time for AOS to interrogate itself about its commitment to these three-fold responsibili­ties which constitute the essence of all pastoral activities.
           The place of the proclamation of the Word in the Apostleship of the Sea.
           The celebration of the sacraments as the source and "raison d'etre" of our pastoral care.
           The service to all but especially to the poorest as the priority and hallmark of AOS.

       5.  We have also included the term solidarity in the theme for two reasons. First , as we are going to Gdynia, which is 20 km from Gdansk, the birthplace of the "Solidarnosc" movement, we have thought that it would be fitting to render a tribute to the Polish labour movement Solidarity, which was instrumental in bringing such great historical changes and finally made possible Europe's reunification. The second reason is more theological as we believe that our mission is God's vocation realized "in solidarity" with the maritime world by sharing the lives of those who are part of it. The context marked by secularism and, at the same time, by a growing multireligious and multicultural real­ity, is also a reminder that AOS has a great tradition of ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue and of cooperation "in solidarity" with every man and woman of good will.

       6.  We pray that this next World Congress be a time of grace for the AOS and that our reflection, prayer and shar­ing will enable us to progress in our mission to reach out, as members of the Church, to all the People of the Sea. As we set forth on this new journey of faith, hope and love, we confide to Mary the "Stella Maris", our Congress and we ask her for her protection and guidance.

Postal Address:
Abbazia S. Maria di Finalpia
17024 Finale Ligure Pia (SV) Italy
Telephone +39 019 602 301  Fax: +39 019 604 9940
updated 10 February 2024
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