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Sea Sunday Celebrations
Tell us how your parish celebrated Sea Sunday by sending us photos and some text of your parish's Sea Sunday celebrations. We'll put them up on this webpage. Please send your contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org
St Gabriel's, Viewpark, Scotland
A huge thanks for Fr Jim Morris, parish priest and parishioners of the church for making our Scotland Development Officer Euan McArthur feel so welcome when he made an appeal on behalf of AoS on August 6th. The congregation was very interested in Euan's talk on the needs of seafarers, many from foreign countries and on low income, who come into Scottish ports and how we meet their spiritual and welfare needs. A very generous £1,070 was collected! Thank you very much to one and all. Separately, our Sea Sunday appeal in St Joseph's in Milngavie was also very successful with the wonderful parishioners raising £1,390 so thank you to all. Parish priest Fr Pat Currie said, "It's great to welcome AoS and hear about the sterling work they do in Soctland. Parishioner Mary Brady said, "I often go on holiday to Campbeltown so know how hard the fishermen there and right across the country work to try and make a living."
Euan with St Gabriel's parish priest Fr Jim Morris.
St Polycarp’s Catholic Primary School in Farnham, Surrey
In preparation for Sea Sunday, the students at St Polycarp’s Catholic Primary School in Farnham, Surrey, prepared an impressive range of letters and prayers for seafarers, as well as posters and greetings cards with shipping themes. At the school assembly on July 7th, Alastair Emblem from our fundraising department thanked the children and explained how their work would be distributed to seafarers by the Portsmouth and Southampton port chaplain. Many of the letters had focused on praying that seafarers would not miss their families too much on their long journeys away from home. The children were glad to hear that seafarers were comforted by receiving these letters and prayers of support. Some of the posters and cards were also used to make a Sea Sunday display in the Church of St Joan of Arc next door to the school. More on this story here.
Here's a photo of Sea Sunday celebrations in Mombasa, Kenya at the Mission to Seamen Club which was attended by a cross section of the port workers, Kenya Navy, seafarers and their families and those from the maritime related sectors. In the picture are: from left Bishop Joseph Allessandro who is the chairman of the Kenya Episcopal Commission for Migrants, Refugees and Seafarers, Bishop Julius Kali of the Anglican Church Mombasa Diocese, Archbishop Martin Kivuva of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa and Rev. Fr. Willybard Lagho the Vicar General. Thanks to George Sunguh, our Mombasa port chaplain for sending the pictures.
Port Louis, Mauritius
Sea Sunday celebrations in Trou d'Eau Douce, Mauritius, led by our port chaplain there Fr Jacques-Henri David. Blessing of boats, fishers and the local sea and maritime community.
St Martin of Tours, Ullapool, Scotland
While up in Ullapool at a rowing regatta, our Dundee ship visitor Jacqueline McGuire (with the pink wellies!) went to Mass on Sea Sunday at St Martin of Tours Catholic Church. It is the most northerly mainland Catholic Church in the UK set in a beautiful remote location. One parishioner she spoke with had travelled 40 miles with his family to attend.
Jacqueline approached parish priest Fr Maximilian Nwosu, who agreed to let her speak at the end of Mass about AoS' work. Thank you Fr Max for your very warm welcome. Fr Max has direct experience of the dangers of seafaring; last year he said a service for a Filipino seafarer who died as a result of an industrial accident in the port of Invergorden. Huge thanks also to Elaine from the parish for helping us to support the spiritual needs of seafarers.
Montreal Port, Canada
Fr Andrew Thavam, AoS Canada National Director and Montreal port chaplain celebrated Sea Sunday mass at the port of Montreal Grain terminal on board the ship Wild Rose.
Cape Town, South Africa
In Cape Town South Africa, Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) port chaplain Fr Gerardo Garcia held a first-ever interfaith service with other organisations working in the port followed by a social gathering at the seafarers centre. A Sea Sunday letter from the Vatican was also read out during the service.
More photos here.
Ss John and Columba and St. Peter in Chains, Scotland
Text posted on parish's Facebook page reads, "Jim McRae, from Apostleship of the Sea spoke at Holy Mass today. He is one of the ship welfare visitors who support seafarers whose merchant vessels berth at Rosyth, Inverkeithing and all across the Scottish coast. Thanks to parishioners who made a donation and to Jim for telling us about the Apostleship's brilliant work. Say a prayer today for seafarers."
Abidjan, Ivory Coast
As is tradition in Abidjan, Sea Sunday is celebrated for a week, starting a week before the actual day. This year's programme included celebrations and meetings with seafarers, port workers and the local community. The celebration with the community marks the concluding of the official pastoral year, says Fr Celestin Ikomba, AoS Abidjan port chaplain and AoS Africa Atlantic Coordinator. However the celebrations were tinged with sadness after the sudden death on 7th July of Mr Olivier Akachiby, their Secretary and hard-working ship visitor.
St. Columba, Glasgow
Our Scotland Development Officer Euan McArthur spoke at Sea Sunday Masses at the parish, and was well-received and supported by cleary and parishioners. Parish priest Fr Ambrose Ohene said; "Sea Sunday is such a special occasion. We are so happy to offer support. AoS do wonderful work with their origins here in Glasgow.”
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church Texas, United States
AoS-USA is located in the Diocese of Beaumont. So they teamed up with the AoS - Diocese of Beaumont, and staff and volunteers of the Port Arthur International Seafarer's Center, to hold a Sea Sunday Celebration. Mass was celebrated at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Orange, Texas, with Fr. Sinclair Oubre, JCL presiding as Pastor of St. Francis, and Diocesan Director of AoS - Beaumont.
A reception was held after the Mass, with opportunities for those present to learn more about the ministry to seafarers, and volunteer opportunities within. It was also an opportunity to learn how to get a career in the maritime industry. After Mass, one local seafarer, who is currently seeking work, was able to get a one-one-one meeting with Fr Sinclair who sat down with her to review inland towing jobs and websites, and instructed her how to fill these out. ~ Text and photos by Doreen Badeaux AoS-USA.
Mariners' Club, Hong Kong
The AoS team in Hong Kong were hosted by the Mariners' Club on Sea Sunday. It was a lovely evening of prayer and fellowship giving thanks for the seafarers of the world. The evening ended with dinner. Thank you Mariners Club and all our supporters in Hong Kong.
Westminster Cathedral, London
Our South Coast port chaplain Rev. Roger Stone preached at all the Masses during Sea Sunday weekend. He introduced the congregation to two seafarers he had supported and told how one was literally kept as a slave, while the other was unable to get home to the Philippines after learning his brother had been shot dead, and how the wider Church, through AoS, supported the men. A touching and heart-breaking homily and tears were shed by some in the congregation.
Huge thanks to the Cathedral's clergy and wonderful parishioners and visitors for their warm welcome and fantastic support!
St Mary's Church, Carlton, Selby
Some lovely photos of displays in the church on Sea Sunday. Thank you Nicola Simpson for the photos, and also for the fundraising you do for us selling your delicious jam.
Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay, Wales
Our ship visitor Barbara Thomas (in high viz jacket) spoke at the Push the Boat Out event at the Pierhead Building. Well done and thank you Barbara!
Sacred Heart Church, Ramsey, Cambridgeshire
Beautiful collages made by children after Mass. Thanks for sharing the pictures with us Clare Storey.
Our Lady of the Rosary, Peterlee, Co. Durham
These lovely pictures were sent to us by parishioner Amanda Carr. Thy were drawn by her twin daughters, Grace Ava and Anna Lucia. The children had a lovely day in liturgy learning about Sea Sunday and what we can all do to help, and are looking forward to learning more about AoS. Amanda says the family is inspired by their parishioners, some of whom help by making hats for seafarers. Thank you Amanda, Grace Ava and Anna Lucia!
Our Lady of Victories, Kensington, London
Our Immingham port chaplain Steve Willows headed south to speak at the parish during Sea Sunday weekend.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel & St George, Enfield
Huge thanks to the priests and parishioners of the church for your warm welcome and continued support for our Sea Sunday appeals this year, where our Development DIrector John Green gave talks.
Ss Cecilia and Anselm, London
AoS London Officer spoke at Masses on Sea Sunday.
Arundel Cathedral, Arundel & Brighton
AoS Head of Major Gifts Jonathan Heard was present at the Masses to speak about Sea Sunday and AoS' ministry. There was also a chidlren's liturgy where they children presented colourful home-made paper boats. What a brilliant idea!
St Francis Xavier, Carfin, Scotland
Top football referee Willie Collum (in picture below) offered his support towards Sea Sunday which was celebrated early in St Francis Xavier parish, Carfin. Euan McArthur, Scottish Development Officer, spoke at the three Masses in the Motherwell Diocese parish and shared with parishioners the story of his late uncle, Bobby, who was lost at sea back in 1966 when he was drowned between two fishing boats at Ayr Harbour. Bobby had been aged just 22 when he slipped on board his boat The Harvest Hope and went overboard, leaving the crew helpless to prevent such a tragedy.
Mr Collum, who is a Fifa-listed referee and regularly takes charge of many high-profile games both in Scotland and abroad in the Champions League, was moved to hear about the work of AoS. He said: "I know about the dangers of the sea. I had an uncle who was lost some 30 years ago. He was in the Merchant Navy and all of a sudden a fire broke out onboard the ship and the consequences were tragic.
"I fully support the Apostleship of the Sea in their work. It's great to know they are assisting seafarers in such practical ways."
Fr Francis McGachey said: "Apostleship of the Sea is a charity which doesn't get the recognition it deserves. We have very much enjoyed having them here in our parish and we should all feel inspired to go and help them in whatever way possible." A total of £1,197.16 was collected, thanks to its generous parishioners.
St Peter’s, Hamilton, Scotland
Sea Sunday brought the memories flooding back for one parishioner in particular as Apostleship of the Sea visited St Peter’s in Hamilton.
Former Merchant Navy sailor Danny McLaughlin was present as Scottish Development Officer, Euan McArthur, spoke at Vigil Mass as well as Sunday Mass at the parish in South Lanarkshire.
Danny was delighted to hear how AoS have been supporting the crew of the Malaviya Seven in Aberdeen for the past year having first gone to sea as an electrician on board MV Cumberland in Cardiff back in 1962.
Danny, who also spent time on board MV Middlesex, MV Rangitane and Wharinuo, recalled; "It was tough in those days and having Sea Sunday here in our parish certainly brings back a lot of memories. On leaving Cardiff, we travelled to Wellington in New Zealand. We encountered the Cuban Missile Crisis as we sailed through the Panama Canal but knew nothing of it while on board the ship because there wasn’t the technology then. We were given a special escort from the American Navy all the way to Haiti just to make sure we were safe.
"I would like to wish Apostleship of the Sea all the best for the future. They’re a wonderful charity."
Euan thanked Fr Frank King for allowing AoS to share with his parishioners their mission, saying; "We thank Fr King sincerely for letting us celebrate Sea Sunday. This has been a really great visit and hopefully we can come back again in the future."
Danny holds an official photo of Stella Maris (AoS) committee members from
St Peter’s Partick, Glasgow from the 1920s.
St Joseph's, Stepps and St Dominic's, Craigend, Scotland
Euan McArthur, National Development Officer for Scotland, spoke at all five Masses in the Motherwell Diocese parishes and received a warm welcome over the course of his visit. A total of £922 was collected, thanks to the very generous parishioners.
Parish Priest, Father Kenneth O'Brien, thanked AoS for sharing their story and emphasised the importance of seafarers to the country's economy, bearing in mind his own Diocese has no visible coastline. Father O'Brien said: "We are the only landlocked Diocese in Scotland but our reliance on seafarers cannot be questioned.
"Every one of us should be proud of the original beginnings of Stella Maris here in Scotland and the fact it's now offering practical and spiritual care on an international scale. Apostleship of the Sea is a wonderful charity which deserves out full support."
Parishioners were happy to chat outside after Mass amid the pleasant temperatures although the often severe conditions facing seafarers wasn't forgotten on the day.
Father O'Brien said: "We have been blessed with beautiful weather all weekend and we thank God for that. But the reality is very often seafarers have to work in the most severe conditions which must be a hard as many come from much different climates. It's hard to imagine how difficult this must be but now we've been made to think a bit more about what they encounter along the way."
St Bride’s, East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire
St Bride’s parish in East Kilbride more than rallied round as they took Apostleship of the Sea’s strong message to their hearts during the recent celebration of Sea Sunday. AoS made a first-time visit to the Motherwell Diocese parish where parish priest Fr Rafal Sobieszuk welcomed them as they addressed parishioners at all four Masses over the weekend. Read more of the story here.
St Catherine Laboure in North Balornock, Glasgow
Parishioners of St Catherine Laboure in North Balornock, Glasgow looked to the future with excitement as they celebrated Sea Sunday recently where they also honoured Apostleship of the Sea’s (AoS) proud past. Those present were delighted to hear of the forthcoming celebrations which will mark AoS’ World Congress and 100th Anniversary which are both taking place in 2020 in Glasgow, the birthplace of the old Stella Maris (which is what AoS was called before).
Parish priest Fr Tony Gallagher gave the charity a warm welcome, and AoS Scotland Development Officer Euan McArthur and volunteer Graeme Wright spoke at the Masses which raised a very healthy £485. After Mass in the hall, parishioners happily took the time to hear a few more stories over cups of tea.
It was an especially poignant moment when they heard how Euan’s late Uncle, Bobby, tragically drowned after falling between two fishing boats in Ayr Harbour in 1966. Bobby was on board a fishing boat, the Harvest Hope, when the tragedy occurred.
Parish Sacristan Hugh, a long-serving parishioner, spoke of his own memories of AoS and how much he was looking forward to being part of AoS’ celebrations in 2020. Hugh said, “A lot of us in this parish - myself included – have great memories from the days of the old Stella Maris on the banks of the River Clyde. It’s wonderful to hear about 2020 which will be a special time in the charity’s history.”
Euan said, “We’d like to sincerely thank Fr. Gallagher and the parishioners of St Catherine Laboure for their generosity. Hopefully many of them will be able to join us in our celebrations in three years’ time.”
St Mary the Immaculate Conception in Lochee, Dundee
Apostleship of the Sea were given a warm welcome as they made a return visit to St Mary the Immaculate Conception in Lochee, Dundee to celebrate Sea Sunday recently. AoS ship visitor Jacqueline McGuire, who regularly supports seafarers who arrive in the City of Discovery, spoke at both Masses over February weekend on the invitation of Monsignor Aldo Angelosanto.
Jacqueline’s insight into the issues facing those earning a livelihood at sea was well-received and parishioners responded by raising £270 as well as kindly offering to donate warm hats for seafarers visiting these shores from much warmer climates. Monsignor Aldo thanked Jacqueline for attending his parish which is in the Dunkeld Diocese where AoS Bishop Promoter for Scotland, Bishop Stephen Robson, resides.
Monsignor Also said, “It was a very interesting talk from Jacqueline and we thank her for coming to our parish and sharing her experiences. Apostleship of the Sea is doing great work here in this city and further afield which we really appreciate and are naturally happy to help.”
Jacqueline said, “It was really nice being back at St Mary’s, Lochee. The parishioners seemed to enjoy our story and were very generous once more.”
St John the Baptist, Uddingston, South Lanarkshire
Apostleship of the Sea was well received as always in St John the Baptist, Uddingston where they raised £2,016 from their annual Sea Sunday appeal. Former AoS Port Chaplain, Richard Haggarty, is Deacon in the thriving South Lanarkshire parish which has a strong association with the charity and welcomed AoS volunteer Graeme Wright and Euan McArthur, AoS Scottish Development Officer, over the weekend of 4/5 February.
Richard is the Deacon in Father Dominic Towey's parish in the Diocese of Motherwell, and has consistently spoken about his work for AoS over the years helping seafarers both spiritually and practically until his retirement two years ago.
Euan said: "I will always be grateful to Richard for taking me on my first-ever ship visit. Seeing him support seafarers arriving in Grangemouth with such care and attention gave me a real insight into what Apostleship of the Sea is all about. We would like to sincerely thank the parishioners of St John the Baptist for their very generous collection towards our mission."
Glasgow University Chaplaincy and St Joseph's Church, Greenock
Apostleship of the Sea celebrated Sea Sunday at Glasgow University Chaplaincy where students soaked up the charity's message and were eager to offer their support in 2017. Euan McArthur, National Development Officer for Scotland, spoke at all three Masses within the ancient University where he graduated from in 1997. Sea Sunday took place in St Joseph's Church, Greenock, where volunteer Mary Wheeler spoke at all Masses.
St Margaret's and Holy Spirit and St Ninians, Stirling, Scotland
AoS remembered all those who lost their lives at sea as they celebrated Sea Sunday in Stirling, Scotland on Remembrance Day. Parish contact, Andy McDonald, and Scottish Development Officer, Euan McArthur, spoke over the course of the three Masses in St Margaret's and Holy Spirit, St Ninians Stirling where they raised £942.
Within close proximity to the port of Grangemouth, parishioners were pleased to hear of all the spiritual and practical assistance being given to seafarers on arriving on these shores.
Parish Priest Fr Michael Adebanjo said: "It's important we remember all those who lost their lives at sea on this special day. Apostleship of the Sea does such great work and we are only too happy to support their mission through Sea Sunday."