Not too long ago, Stella Maris Tees ship visitors Hugh and Mary Ward visited the ship Eco Invictus.
They were welcomed by a Sri Lankan Master and Filipino crew.
This was the first visit to Tees for the Master, who said he had never had Stella Maris visitors on his vessel so High and Mary took this opportunity to explain to him their role and how we could help the crew.
At this point they were approached by a crew member who asked if we could get him to Mass so Hugh and Mary asked the Master if we could bring a Catholic priest on board to say Mass for the crew.
He agreed without hesitation, then asked if a Buddhist Monk could be brought on board for him. It so happens that Billy Barnett, a member of our Tees ship visiting team is an ordained lay Buddhist.
So the next day, they went on board the ship again. In the presence of the Master and the crew, Billy performed a short ceremony for which the Master was very grateful.
Later that same night Stella Maris Tees Port Chaplain, Deacon Peter Barrigan and Fr Jim Angus of St Patrick’s Hartlepool went on board. Mass was said in the presence of all of the crew including the Master. Everyone was very uplifted.
It turns out that although the Master is a Buddhist, his three children are educated in a Catholic school in Kandy.
The Master and crew thanked Hugh and Mary for their visit. The Master gave them a box of foodstuff which they donated to the local foodbank.