Through Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea), Christianity is alive in the pastoral care offered to seafarers and fishermen, many of whom are marginalised and vulnerable, said Archbishop John Wilson.
“Boats and the Lord Jesus. Our Lady, Star of the Sea. The beautiful truths of our faith, reflected in these images, are alive today in the mission of the Apostleship of the Sea,” said Bishop John in his homily at the Stella Maris Mass held in St George’s Cathedral Southwark.
The Mass was attended by AoS supporters, volunteers, trustees, head office staff and local parishioners. Under the patronage of Our Blessed Mother, Stella Maris, the Apostleship of the Sea in Great Britain is part of an international Catholic missionary outreach to seafarers, with 227 port chaplains in 328 ports in 59 countries worldwide.
In its ministry across the United Kingdom port chaplains bring the Gospel to life for those working at sea, many of whom are Catholics, all of whom work away from their families, sometimes in very challenging conditions, and with little support.
Photo: Archdiocese of Southwark
In his homily Archbishop John also referred to Apostleship of the Sea’s Life at Sea Report which outlines just some of the realities at stake for seafarers and the crucial difference that port chaplains can make. [Stella Maris’ ministry] “to seafarers, guided by Mary, the Star of the Sea, is at the service and the wellbeing, the safe return home, of all those who set out on the waters. It helps them connect and come home safely to their families, to their friends, and to their country. It helps them find a welcome home in Christ and in His Church, and, one day, to come home safely to heaven, our eternal harbour.
“This is something for which we can be very proud of and for which we give thanks to God,” he said.
Apostleship of the Sea celebrates its centenary in October next year, which kicks-off with its 25th World Congress in Glasgow where it was founded. Watch the welcome video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Jazc5ObbqI
You can watch a video of Archbishop John's homily below
More photos of the Mass can be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/rcsouthwark/albums/72157711191604393/