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Sunday, December 4, 2016
Nationwide tour of Stella Maris icon
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 Stella Maris, The Apostleship of the Sea's icon of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, was welcomed to Berwick-upon-Tweed last week on the first leg of a year-long tour around Britain's coastline. The six-foot high icon, painted by Dr Stéphane René, was received during a special Mass at the church of Our Lady and St Cuthbert's celebrated by the Rt Rev Kevin Dunn, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle. During its tour, the icon will serve as the focus for a campaign to promote devotion to Our Lady Stella Maris, and raise awareness of the issues facing international seafarers who bring us 95% of the goods we consume every day. Stella Maris is one of the oldest titles for Our Lady, and under this title she is the patroness of all seafarers, and of AOS. A packed congregation was swelled by a large number of AOS workers. Bishop Kevin remarked upon the beauty of the icon, and his great pleasure at being present to witness the start of the tour, which he hoped would encourage both devotion to Our Lady and prayer for seafarers who play such a vital part in all our lives. He also praised the work of the AOS. Parish priest Fr Brendan Kelly said he felt proud that Our Lady and St Cuthbert's had been chosen to be the first parish to receive the icon. Commodore Chris York, National Director of AOS, said: "The start of this nationwide Icon tour is tremendously exciting. It is an opportunity to raise the profile of the work of the Church in reaching out to seafarers, who are some of the most vulnerable and needy workers in our country and experience at first hand the pressures of globalisation. They may only be here for a few hours at a time, but the impact they have on our lives is immense and we owe it to them to provide for their needs." Source: AOS
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