Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) has appointed Mr Nicholas Barends (Nicky) as its new National Director for South Africa.
He was commissioned during a Mass at the Cape Town Seafarers Centre chapel on May 5th.
Mass was celebrated by AoS Cape Town Port Chaplain Fr Gerardo Garcia.
Nicky has worked as a professional printer and has been a ship visitor with AoS Cape Town for more than 10 years.
He takes the helm at a time when AoS South Africa is expanding to meet the spiritual and practical needs of seafarers arriving at its ports.
Apart from ensuring the smooth running of AoS in the country, his duties will also entail coordinating AoS centres within the Southern African region to a central point.
“I am honoured to be appointed and look forward to this challenge to help care for the seafarers that arrive at the port from different parts of the world,” Nicky said.
In a letter addressed to Fr Gerardo Garcia, Archbishop of Cape Town Stephen Brislin confirmed Nicky’s appointment as National Director of AoS South Africa.
“I am certain that Mr Barends with his longstanding association with AoS and his passion to assist the vulnerable, will enable AoS to further develop and promote this Ministry as it continues to provide pastoral support for the seafarers,” Bishop Brislin wrote.
“I also thank you for your commitment to Apostleship of the Sea and for the service you render as Port Chaplain of Cape Town,” he added.
Seafarers who were present at the commissioning Mass were blessed by Fr Gerardo. They were from Vietnam, Namibia and Kenya.
Also present were AoS volunteers Keith Arrow, Jannie Van Neel, Anthony Erispe, Gerard Assam and Astrid Castenfelt and two retired South African fishermen who are AoS members.
AoS South Africa currently has port chaplains in Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Richards Bay, who offer spiritual, practical support and a listening ear to seafarers arriving at these ports.
*Visit our South Africa website here.