A Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated by Bishop Terence Drainey at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Middlesbrough on October 3.
Mass was organised by Catholic charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS). During Mass, six AoS ship visitors who provide pastoral support to seafarers in the Humber and Tees region were commissioned by Bishop Terence.
They are Hugh Ward, Mary Ward, Billy Barnett, Jun Barnett, Roger Worton and Gerry Quinn.
AoS Tees Port Chaplain Deacon Peter Barrigan who delivered the homily spoke of how AoS’ ministry was one of brief encounters with seafarers.
He said, “Our ministry is to be present, and very often deliver little acts of kindness – provide seafarers with phone top-up cards, rosaries, transport into town, but mainly to listen to them.
"These are brief encounters; as we probably won’t see them again so it’s important to be with them in the moment. We can’t always know where these brief encounters will go but they will be remembered. My own father sailed in the merchant navy and told many stories about the kindness of people he encountered.”
Deacon Peter added, “Jesus’ ministry a lot of times consists of brief encounters. The Gospel has lots of stories about Jesus spending time with strangers, listening to them, carrying out acts of kindness.
He continued, “We at AoS are sent by the Church, commissioned by the Bishop to be Christ to all we meet at ports. We welcome the stranger, are gentle and compassionate with them, and need to be self-giving in our sacrifice.
“We are in a privileged position to care for seafarers and do this under the protection of Our Blessed Lady Star of the Sea, Stella Maris.”
The Mass, which was followed by a reception, was attended by Anne McLaren, AoS Senior Regional Port Chaplain (North East England) and AoS Port Chaplain for Hull & Goole, AoS volunteers from Hull, Tees and Middlesbrough, supporters, parish contacts, head office staff and local parishioners.
* More photos can be viewed on Flickr.