Fr Roger Manalo
As Catholic parishes throughout Australia prepare to celebrate Sea Sunday on 9 July 2017, it is timely to reflect on the vital work of the tens of thousands of seafarers who visit our ports each year – and the ministry of the Apostleship of the Sea which supports them. Lindy McNamara* reports.
Life at sea for crew members aboard a cargo ship or fishing vessel can be a lonely existence at times. Separated from family and friends for months at a time, often working in dangerous weather conditions, there is little wonder that feelings of isolation and depression are common.
However, the Apostleship of the Sea Catholic ministry (AOS) offers a ‘beacon of light’ to seafarers around the world by providing pastoral support for their ‘spiritual, social and material’ welfare. In Australia there are 15 AOS port chaplains / centre managers and more than 160 volunteers supporting the estimated 130,000 seafarers who transit the nation’s 25 ports each year through these centres. Continue reading →
On Sea Sunday 10 July, Catholic parishes throughout Australia will acknowledge the vital role of over 130,000 Seafarers who transit through Australia’s 25 ports while working at sea and the associated, dedicated port chaplains and volunteers. The parish support will be generated through a collection based on the annual, national Sea Sunday appeal.
Last year approximately 20,000 vessels visited Australia. Many of these received support from 15 Apostleship of the Sea Port Chaplains and over 164 Apostleship of the Sea volunteers. In the past twelve months, support was provided to 276 Seafarers who were hospitalised in Australia as a result of a medical emergency or an injury from a vessel at sea. These seafarers are isolated when admitted to hospital and remote from family. The Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) reconnects these sick or injured seafarers with family and continues to support them until discharged, ensuring personal needs are met where possible. Continue reading →