News

Cardinal Tagle's letter to Filipino seafarers

12th March 2015

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, has thanked Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) for its continuous spiritual support for Filipino seafarers arriving at British ports. 
                  He also assured Filipino seafarers of the Catholic Church’s continued support for them and commitment to their welfare. 
                  In a personally-written letter addressed to them during a visit to Newcastle, the cardinal said, “I thank Stella Maris (AoS) and the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle for taking care of your spiritual needs. Your noble profession brings a lot of good to your families, to our nation and to the world,” Cardinal Tagle wrote.
                  “But we know the hardships and even dangers that you face daily. Remember that God loves you and we care profoundly for you. The Church does her best to minister to you and to uphold your rights,” his letter said. 
                  The cardinal’s letter was read out to the crew of the Arran in North Tees during a Mass held on board the ship. Mass was organised by AoS North Tees ship visiting volunteer Jimmy Ross and celebrated by Fr Sean Purdy from Newcastle Cathedral.                    
Apostleship of the Sea's Tees & Hartlepool port chaplain Deacon Peter Barrigan with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle Archbishop of Manila
                  AoS’ Tees port chaplain Deacon Peter Barrigan who met Cardinal Tagle earlier in the week said, “I introduced myself as the chaplain for AoS to which he replied ‘Ah, Stella Maris. We know all about you. Thank you for what you do for our people when they are away from home.’” 
                  Deacon Peter added, “I told him we were having a Mass on board a ship and he was asked if he wanted to address the seafarers. He produced this letter
                  “Fr Sean read out the letter to the crew after the Gospel. The captain on the Arran was delighted and couldn’t wait to ring his wife to let her know.” 
                  In 2014, AoS’ port chaplains in Great Britain visited 9,951 ships and assisted 199,020 seafarers.  A total of 173 masses were celebrated on ships.
                  You can read a copy of the letter here.  You can also view more photos on our Facebook album.