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  Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of the Migrants and Itinerant People

XXI World Congress of Apostolatus Maris

Message to seafarers

To our sisters and brothers, people of the sea, from the participants at the XXI World Congress of the Apostleship of the Sea, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

We thank the maritime community of Rio de Janeiro for its wonderful welcome.

Cordial greetings! You have been in our hearts, minds and prayers as we have reflected and deliberated over the aspects of globalization as it affects the people of the sea. We are aware that globalisation can bring new jobs and opportunities; it can also bring new forms of colonization and exploitation of the people of the sea.

We hope that this first international gathering of the Apostleship of the Sea in a Latin American Country will give impetus to addressing concerns and needs in areas where Apostolatus Maris has not yet shown its full potential.

As a Congress, we have rededicated ourselves to being a welcoming heart for the seafarers in cooperation with other organisations and agencies in ports around the world.

As a Congress, we have rededicated ourselves to cooperating with wives and families of seafarers and fishers to bring about justice and better human conditions for the families, not only for individuals.

But most of all, we are going to deeply dedicate ourselves in this globalized world to be promoters and animators of solidarity and respect for human dignity and fundamental rights. This dedication, which is pastoral also, extends a deep respect and love for the people of all cultures, other religions and the environment.

In conclusion, we dedicate our lives and hearts to you that we may be one people of the sea in joy and pain, in celebration and suffering so encompassed in the love of God.