A Mass in honour of Our Lady Star of the Sea, Stella Maris, was held in the Cathedral Church of St Mary and St Boniface, Plymouth on September 15.
Mass was celebrated by Monsignor Bart Nannery and attended by Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) ship visitors, parish contacts, volunteers and supporters.
AoS Plymouth port chaplain Ann Donnelly said, “The life of seafarer can be precarious, fraught with danger and uncertainty, with long contracts, spending many months away from home and their families, and missing out on their children’s births, and other significant occasions.
“This strain takes its toll on their physical and mental health, and as regulator ship visitors working in the Southwest we’ve all met seafarers who need help, and seafarers are happy to see a friendly face and an outstretched hand of welcome.”
Ann reminded those present that AoS is a vital charity which models itself on trust in Our Lady, echoing the absolute trust she had in God, on the day the Angel Gabriel appeared to her.
“AoS makes material and spiritual difference to seafarers, however small. It only happens because of our supporters here. Ship visitors, parish contacts, people who knit woolly hats, who donate money and clothes and presents during Easter and Christmas,” said Ann.
“All this helps alleviate some of the stress and hardship faced by seafarers,” she added.
“It is all too easy to be afraid and despondent, but if we recall the childlike trust of Our Lady, in spite of all her sorrow in later life, and place ourselves into her care, we can be sure of her love and intercessions throughout all the sorrows in our own lives, and this enables us, with her love, to carry on the work as the AoS,” Ann said.
Martin Foley, AoS National Director, said, “I would like to thank Monsignor Nannery for leading our celebration of Mass and the diocese of Plymouth for their ongoing support for our work.”
*More photos on our Flickr site here.