Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) were again delighted to mark a special occasion as they celebrated their annual Stella Maris Mass in St Mary's Cathedral, Aberdeen on Thursday, 22nd September in honour of seafarers worldwide.
Almost 100 supporters, ship visitors and parish contacts gathered in the Granite City to carry on the success of last year's inaugural Mass.
Led by Bishop Stephen Robson, the charity's Bishop Promoter for Scotland, the well-attended evening 7pm Mass came in the same week as the feast of Our Lady Star of the Sea, the patron saint for seafarers whom AoS support both practically and spiritually.
Bishop Robson was joined by several members of clergy from the Aberdeen diocese and AoS' port chaplain for northeast Scotland, Doug Duncan, as well as the port chaplain for Clydeport, Deacon Joe O'Donnell, who both work closely with seafarers visiting these shores and further afield, many of whom experience hardships along the way.
In his inspiring homily, Bishop Robson praised the work of all those who assist in helping seafarers cope with the uncertainty and harshness which a life as sea invariably brings.
To mark such a memorable occasion, Bishop Robson commissioned Doug Duncan and ship visitors John Murray and Ruth Watt for their work in attending to the many needs of seafarers. Bishop Robson said: “This is great work and we are very honoured to commission you in the name of Apostleship of the Sea.
"It is wonderful to see so many supporters with the best interests of Apostleship of the Sea at heart present in this cathedral.
“As many of you know, seafarers face many difficulties and sometimes just having a shoulder to cry on can make all the difference.
He added, “I think we all know someone who has been at sea, is currently at sea or is contemplating a life at sea, and around 36 percent of them come from Catholic countries like the Philippines, Goa and India, Poland and Italy.
“It is so important that we support them because they bring so many of the everyday goods we require to keep our country going, around 95 percent of all trade coming from sea."
Afterwards, a large number of those in attendance retired to the Cathedral Hall where they enjoyed some light refreshments, and took the opportunity to find out more about the work of AoS here in Scotland, prompting some to volunteer to ensure AoS can continue its work into the future.
* To see more photos go to our Flickr site.