Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – It is not just sea, sun and celebrating the sacraments for Catholic chaplains aboard cruise ships.

Regional directors of the Apostleship of the Sea meeting at the Vatican Feb. 9 ratified a document clarifying the role of chaplains who serve on board cruise ships.

Among its provisions, the document stipulated that priests should not celebrate Catholic weddings on a cruise, but they should be available to offer blessings for newlyweds or couples celebrating wedding anniversaries. It also stated that priests should offer daily and Sunday Masses, as well as ecumenical prayer services when required.

Chaplains should make themselves available for pastoral care and counseling not only with passengers but also the crew, hotel staff and even the entertainers aboard ship, the guidelines said. Chaplains are also encouraged to attend staff and employee meetings during a cruise to better understand the issues and concern of the people working on board.

The new guidelines asked cruise ship companies to provide chaplains with a private cabin and all standard meals. They are also asked to provide everything necessary to celebrate Mass, including vestments and chalices, and to advertise all the public activities of the chaplain while on board.

Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, which oversees the Apostleship of the Sea, said the recent growth of the cruise ship industry prompted the writing of the new "Cruise Ship Ministry Guidelines."

The document will be published later in the year as part of the 90th anniversary celebrations of the Apostleship of the Sea, an organization started in 1920 in Glasgow, Scotland, to oversee the Cchurch's mission to Catholics workers in maritime industries.

Deacon Albert M. Dacanay, regional coordinator of the Apostleship of the Sea for North America and the Caribbean, attended the Vatican meeting in early February. He estimated that 60 percent of U.S. cruise ship clients are Catholic and that 80 percent of U.S. cruise ship staff members are Catholics, the majority coming from the Philippines.

Deacon Dacanay said his office was concerned about the recent decision of Celebrity Cruises to have Catholic chaplains on board only on major religious holidays, but he said the situation is evolving.

Celebrity Cruises recently revised its policy again, agreeing to have priests on board ships during Lent and the Easter season and for all cruises going to the Holy Land, according to Doreen M. Badeaux, secretary general of the Apostleship of the Sea in the United States.

Deacon Dacanay said, "There is still a big clamor for chaplains to be on the ships, and there is a large number of cruise ship companies still to bring along" into the official programs of the Apostleship of the Sea.

In the United States, the Apostleship of the Sea oversees the Cruise Ship Priest Program, which ensures that priests on cruise ships are in good standing and which helps place chaplains aboard cruise liners. Celebrity Cruises is one of seven cruise lines that use the services of the Apostleship of the Sea's U.S. offices.

Deacon Dacanay said that he would like to see the U.S. cruise ships do more for the Catholic crews that they employ and that the new guidelines will address his concerns.

Creating guidelines for chaplains from a variety of countries serving on ships with different national registrations was one of the challenges in writing the document, said Father Bruno Ciceri, the international director of the Apostleship of the Sea.

For instance, Father Ciceri said, Italian cruise ships have chaplains that are formally part of the crew as commissioned officers, while many ships serving U.S. customers use priests who volunteer their services in exchange for free passage on board vacation liners.

"In Italy the priests go as part of the crew, while in the U.S.A. the priests go as part of their 'R and R', –  there is a big difference," Father Ciceri said. "But at last we will have a common policy on many aspects of having Catholic chaplains on cruises."

Events Calendar

September 2014
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
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12:00 AM
Archbishop O'Brien Library , Bloomfield, United States
The Archbishop O’Brien Library will participate in a community-based project with Life Choice Donor Services, a non-profit organ procurement organization, during September, to raise awareness for organ [...]
Date :  September 01, 2014
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08:15 PM
Quinnipiac University, Hamden CT, Hamden, United States
 An outdoor vigil and prayer service in support of persecuted Christian churches in the Middle East will take place at 8:15 p.m. Sept. 17 on the academic quadrangle [...]
10:00 AM
Holy Family Retreat Center, West Hartford, West Hartford, United States
Holy Family Retreat Center in West Hartfrod is offering a retreat day for parish secretaries, with [...]
Date :  September 17, 2014
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06:00 PM
St. Ann Parish, Avon, Avon, United States
The Social Justice Committee of St. Ann’s Parish in Avon will have its popular annual clothing sale from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 19 and from 8:30 [...]
Date :  September 19, 2014
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08:30 AM
St. Ann Parish, Avon, Avon, United States
The Social Justice Committee of St. Ann’s Parish in Avon will have its popular annual clothing sale from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 19 and from 8:30 [...]
10:00 AM
St. Paul Catholic High School, Bristol, Bristol, United States
St. Paul Catholic High School open houses at 10 and 11:30 a.m. Sept. 20,  7 p.m. Oct. 8 and at 10 and [...]
Date :  September 20, 2014
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11:00 AM
Archdiocesan Center at St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, United States
Applications are being accepted for the 2014 Catholic Youth Spectacular (CYS), set for Sept. 21 on the [...]
Date :  September 21, 2014
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12:00 AM
The Archdiocese of Hartford is participating again in the national Family Day program launched by [...]
Date :  September 22, 2014
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11:00 AM
Wampanoag Country Club, West Hartford, West Hartford, United States
HARTFORD – The 22nd annual Archbishop John F. Whealon Memorial Golf Tournament will take place Sept. 23 [...]
Date :  September 23, 2014
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06:00 PM
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Hamden , Hamden, United States
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Hamden will have its monthly Pro-Life Holy Hour Novena from 6-7 p.m. September 24.The Holy Hour will include exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, pro-life rosary, [...]
12:00 AM
Hartford GYN Center, Hartford, United States
The Pro-Life Ministry of the Archdiocese of Hartford will participate in the international 40 Days for Life campaign from Sept. 24 through Nov. 2. The success of the campaign is evident in [...]
Date :  September 24, 2014
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06:00 PM
Holy Family Retreat Center, West Hartford, West Hartford, United States
"Know Greater Joy" is the theme of a Men's Weekend Retreat being offered Sept. 26-28 at Holy Family [...]
12:00 AM
Lourdes in Litchfield , Litchfield, United States
A Beginning Experience Weekend will be conducted Sept. 26-28 for divorced, separated and widowed men and [...]
Date :  September 26, 2014
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09:30 AM
Holy Angels Parish Center, South Meriden, Meriden, United States
MERIDEN – The Meriden-Wallingford Council of Catholic Women will sponsor a catered breakfast at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 27 at Holy Angels Parish Center in South Meriden. Guest speaker Deacon Thomas J. Davis [...]
12:00 AM
Lourdes in Litchfield , Litchfield, United States
A Beginning Experience Weekend will be conducted Sept. 26-28 for divorced, separated and widowed men and [...]
Date :  September 27, 2014
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01:00 PM
Polish-American Club, West Haven, United States
NEW HAVEN – St. Stanislaus Parish will have its annual picnic/harvest festival from 1-8 p.m. Sept. 28, rain or shine, at the Polish-American Club at 194 W. Spring St., West Haven. Polish and [...]
12:00 AM
Lourdes in Litchfield , Litchfield, United States
A Beginning Experience Weekend will be conducted Sept. 26-28 for divorced, separated and widowed men and [...]
Date :  September 28, 2014
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07:00 PM
Caritas Christi Center, Hamden, Hamden, United States
Caritas Christi Center will offer a New Life Seminar for the separated and divorcd from 7-9 p.m. on nine [...]
Date :  September 29, 2014
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