Stella Maris, Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) in Tees Port responded to an urgent request for Mass on board a ship after one of its crew members received bad news from home.
AoS ship visitors Hugh and Mary Ward visited a ship, the Eco Nemesis, in December, and were received by the Captain who asked for Mass to be held on board the next morning.
Hugh and Mary rang AoS Tees Port Chaplain Deacon Peter Barrigan, who managed to contact Fr James Angus of St. Patrick's Hartlepool who had just got home from his day off.
Peter explained the seriousness of the situation and Fr James agreed to come along and celebrate the Mass for the crew.
By 10 o'clock the next morning they were on board the ship and set up for Mass.
The Captain told Peter and his team that it was the first time in 20 years at sea that he had had Mass on board a ship.
He also sent AoS a grateful email of thanks. The Captain wrote, “It is our pleasure onboard to received and having this Holy Mass specially here in our ship, we feel the Kingdom of our Almighty God that day from heaven that you came to us not only to visited us but we meet and greet each other that would be nice and great for both of us."
He said, "You are all really true loving kind persons to all of us Seafarer onboard…"On behalf of Officers and Crew of Eco Nemesis, we gave thanks for your presence and kindness, we really appreciated your great effort and your boundless commitment specially for us seafarers.”
Twelve days after the Mass the ship was back in North Tees, so Hugh and Mary visited the crew again. The atmosphere on board was much improved.
Hugh said, “We visited a very happy vessel and had a great hour with the crew. The master was pleased to see us. Eight crew members were in the mess room. So jovial, I called them cheeky, which had the Master and crew in bits. The Master repeatedly thanked us for the Mass."