Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) were proud to mark a truly special occasion as they celebrated their inaugural Mass in St Mary's Cathedral, Aberdeen, on October 1 in honour of seafarers worldwide.
Around 100 supporters, ship visitors and parish contacts gathered in the Granite City for the first Mass of its kind which they hope will become an annual event in AoS’ calendar.
Led by Bishop Stephen Robson, the charity's Bishop Promoter for Scotland, the well-attended evening Mass came just a week after 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, who works closely with seafarers visiting these shores in the nearby city harbour and further afield, many of whom experience hardships along the way.
In his heart-felt 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.
He said: “It is great to see so many supporters with the best interests of Apostleship of the Sea at heart.
“The sea is one of God's most beautiful creations but, at the same time, it can be very unforgiving.
“I think we all know someone who has been at sea, is currently at sea or is contemplating a life at sea, and around 70 per cent of them come from Catholic countries like the Philippines, Goa and India.
“It is so important that we support them because they bring so many of the everyday goods we require to keep our country going.”
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.
~ Words by Euan McArthur
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