July 10, 2023


As we celebrate Sea Sunday 2023, we your chaplains of Stella Maris-Philippines, would like to reflect with you our three action points which we must remember and relive. These are to acknowledge, to appreciate, and to accompany. First. Global goods reach to us. We can move around, travel for further works or leisure. We can have and acquire material things. We can experience and enjoy beautiful places, eat delicious food and wear comfortable clothing. Those, are because of the seas. The seas bring those goods. The seas connect people. The seas give life and livelihood. Yes, the seas transport, move everything and everyone around the globe. And so, let us ACKNOWLEDGE with care the importance of the seas. Let us accept the essential and valuable contributions of our seafarers. They are our front liners, living channels for economic development, for cultural progress and human advancement.  Let us acknowledge and be aware of the necessity, the need and value of seaworthy ships. Second. Those goods which we use, patronize or give did not come to us easily, instantly. They entail time, treasures and talents. Everything and everyone exerts patience, perseverance and performance. There are indeed constant sacrifices and services are rendered. We can say blood, sweat and tears are shed. And these are from our seafarers and seaport workers; ship builders and owners; and our coast guards and port officials. Thus, let us APPRECIATE with gratitude the hard works, the resiliency and courage of our seafarers. Let us see with grateful heart their services, their sacrifices and of their families. For their love of their families, they are willing and ready to face separation and loneliness. For the good name of their country, they effectively and efficiently work so hard, laboring all day and all night long. Let us appreciate the goodness of our almighty God and His greatness for His immense and amazing gift of the SEAS. Though they maybe calm or turbulent, even there are storms along God in His power will make our sailing smooth and successful. Lastly. In every journey, at the start and at port, we take notice diligently and devotedly of our stocks, of our resources and of manpower. We do repairs. We refurnish. We refill what is needed or lacking. There are updating or upgrading. And we make ourselves and our ships ready for the next voyage. So, let us ACCOMPANY our seafarers and their ships with our prayers and Holy Masses. Let us spiritually and sacramentally accommodate and accept them in our respective Stella Maris; and their families in our Parishes. We accompany them for their protection, and promotion of their rights against abusive employers and unjust placement agencies. To accompany our seafarers and their families is to make sure that their ships are safe, strong and secure; that our seas are well protected from pirates, from material wastes, and the Laws of the Seas are observed and respected. Let us continually accompany our seafarers and their ships with our prayers, imploring our Blessed Mother Mary whom we lovingly invoke as our dearest Stella Maris take them under her maternal embrace and protection and bring them back to us safe, strong and sound. In celebrating the People of the Sea, let us acknowledge, appreciate and accompany them.
+Ruperto Cruz Santos, DD
Bishop of Antipolo and CBCP Bishop Promoter of Stella Maris-Philippines
Rev. Father John Mission
National Director of Stella Maris-Philippines
And your beloved Chaplains: