Stella Maris Mass 2014

AoS brings the human face of Christ’s love in its ministry with seafarers and fishers. 
                  Bishop Tom Burns SM, AoS Bishop Promoter for England & Wales (in photo) said slavery has reared its head again in new forms at sea, but AoS is a rapid reaction team which responds to raw human need and cries for protection. 
                  “AoS [port] chaplains and [ship visiting] volunteers bring the human face of Christ’s love and care into a hopeless situation, to restore Christ’s promise that he is with us until the end of time,” he said in his homily during the Stella Maris mass for seafarers held in St George’s Cathedral in Southwark London on September 25. 
                  After mass, a reception was held to celebrate former AoS chair of trustees Eamonn Delaney receiving the Papal Knighthood.
  Bishop Tom Burns at the Stella Maria Mass for seafarers at St George's Cathedral Southwark
  Photo: Sophie Staines

                  In highlighting AoS’ ministry, Bishop Tom recalled an incident at the port of Tilbury last month where 35 migrants – one of whom had died – were found inside a shipping container on board a ferry, the Norstream. 
                  The crew of the ferry were upset and distressed and AoS responded by holding a Mass on board and conducting a blessing following requests by the crew. Its chaplains also continued to support them through the ordeal. 
                  “God has come close to his people. He has spoken to them through Mary, Star of the Sea, and through those in the Apostleship of the Sea who act in the name of Mary,” said Bishop Tom. 
                  “There can be no doubt that what was done at Tilbury was doing what the Lord tells us in AoS to do. Those refugees did not expect to be met with compassion, love, and the very Spirit of Christ himself. But those 34 migrants immediately recognised it, and so did the crew of the Norstream, and so did the police officers, the social services, and the other authorities present. 
                  “Opening those metal container doors opened other spiritual doors too. God had visited his people. And God has blessed AoS and its work of charity and compassion,” he added.
                  You can download the full text of Bishop Tom's homily here

                  To view more photos of the Mass please visit the Photo Album on our Facebook Page. You can also download the homily of Bishop Mark O'Toole, Bishop of Plymouth.