Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) were proud to mark a truly special occasion as they celebrated their inaugural Mass in St Andrew's Cathedral, Dundee on Wednesday, 21 September in honour of seafarers worldwide.
Almost 100 supporters, ship visitors and parish contacts gathered in the City of Discovery for the first Mass of its kind which 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 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 Dunkeld Diocese including Canon Kevin Golden who led the Cecillian Choir, Monsignor Aldo Canon Angelosanto, Fr Mike Freyne, and recently-ordained Father Ninian Doohan and AoS' port chaplain for northeast Scotland, Doug Duncan as well as 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 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.
To mark such a memorable occasion, Bishop Robson commissioned Doug Duncan and ship visitors Jacqueline McGuire and Thomas Davidson 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.
“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. 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.
Sea Sunday, the charity's annual appeal, was held in St Andrew's Cathedral back in July.