AoS celebrates World Maritime Day

Apostleship of the Sea will join in this year’s World Maritime Day by holding Masses in London, Glasgow and Portsmouth. The celebrations will be held at Westminster Cathedral on the 25th of September and at Glasgow’s St Aloysius church and the Cathedral of St John the Evangelist in Portsmouth on the 26th of September. The Masses on the 26th coincide with the Feast of Stella Maris, Our Lady, Star of the Sea. 
Stressing the need for regular on going support for seafarers, AoS says the well-being of crew must remain priority as shipping becomes more globalised. About 90% of world trade is transported by ship and the work of seafarers is vital, yet they remain vulnerable to the dangers of the sea and are isolated from their families and friends. Sadly many also become victims of unscrupulous shipping practices, with long working hours and poor working conditions. 
The coming into force of the Maritime Labour Convention in August this year provides an opportunity for shipping to improve its image and practices, but crew still need support and AoS’ team of port chaplains and ship visitors based at major ports around the UK are on-hand to provide it.  
           AoS provides practical and pastoral care to all seafarers regardless of nationality, race or religion. Its port chaplains and volunteer ship visitors provide care and friendship to seafarers, as well as things like phone cards and celebrating Mass on board. In 2012, AoS assisted 200,640 seafarers and a total of 10,032 ships were visited.

Bishop Tom BUrns SM celebrates Stella Maris Mass at Westminster Cathedral
Bishop Tom Burns SM celebrates Stella Maris Mass at Westminster Cathedral