Education, Nursing, and Pastoral Care, Coordinating Health Network at Catholic Charities, D.C.
The Sisters are involved in the mission of education at St. Augustine Catholic School. As part of their primary duties they engage in a broad ministry of evangelization in the field of Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees and Travelers, at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Nursing, as well as Coordinating Health Network at Catholic Charities, D.C. is part of their primary apostolates. In addition, they are involved in different Parishes as Extraordinary Ministers and Lectors, both at the Parish and at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Immaculate Conception; playing active roles in Parish Council activities, and Solidarity which is the Parish association of women. The Sisters teach Sunday school and participate in the ministry to the sick and the homebound. They offer those they serve the opportunity to see their roles as Christians as they serve in an atmosphere of hospitality and support.
Special Ministry: Apostleship of the Sea
Sr. Joanna Okereke, HHCJ is the National Director, Apostleship of the Sea of the United States of America at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) is a vital ministry of the United States Catholic Church in providing pastoral care to seafarers and all people of the sea. Sr. Joanna coordinates the activities of the AOS Chaplains who reaches out to seafarers, fishermen, their families and all who work and travel on the waterways. Their ministry reflects the Church’s care and concern to offer spiritual and material assistance to seafarers who are often away for many months from their homes because of the nature of their work and cannot participate in regular parish life.
The AOS centers in the United States of America are places of hospitality. They offer the following services: Ship visits, on site chapel for prayer services, shuttle to local stores and shopping centers, phone cards, free phone use, e-mail, computers with internet connections, television, magazines, lounge, snacks, games or simply a place to relax. Upon request, centers celebrate Holy Mass, shipboard communion service, counselling, confession and other sacraments. Blessing of the ports, ships, boats, fishing fleets and other services for crew members.
Other activities include: celebration of the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea, Sea Sunday celebration. Producing Catholic Maritime News and sending press release. Organizing a pastoral visit to the various ports. Supporting the Houston Seafarers Center to provide training for chaplains and encouraging the shoe box activities whereby, the AOS chaplains visit onboard ships during Christmas season to take gifts, including warm clothing and other gift items to the seafarers. Parishes start collecting these presents early through the year.