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Monday, March 27, 2017
Bishop dedicates cruise ship to Our Lady
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¬†The Rt Rev Tom Burns, Bishop Promoter of the Apostleship of the Sea in England & Wales, has dedicated a new cruise ship ≠ the Costa Serena ≠ to the protection of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, 'Stella Maris'. Bishop Burns, who is also Bishop in Ordinary to Her Majesty's Forces, joined the President of Costa Cruises, Signor Foschi, and the company's directors in the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde on a hilltop overlooking Marseilles last Saturday. A large model of the Costa Serena was placed in front of the statue of 'the Guardian Lady', and the ship and all who will sail in her were dedicated to the care of Mary, Star of the Sea (Stella Maris). In the evening, some 2,000 invited guests attended the 'christening' ceremony on the quayside in the port of Marseilles, and witnessed the breaking of a bottle of champagne against the ship's bow. In his homily, Bishop Tom noted that for centuries seafarers sailing out of Marseilles had saluted Notre Dame de la Garde to ask for her protection while they were away at sea, separated for long months from their families and loved ones. On returning to the port at the end of a voyage, they would again salute Mary, 'Stella Maris', to thank her for bringing them home safely. Bishop Tom also observed that the significance of blessing a ship is to commend to God the new ship's architects and constructors who brought to birth a dream and a spirit, the crew who work long hours in numerous departments onboard providing exceptional service, and the passengers who benefit from so many wonderful facilities and surprises. He asked the crew to remember one thing in particular: When seafarers leave home or a port, Christ leaves with them. After a gala dinner, the ship sailed out of the harbour and guests witnessed a 30-minute firework display supported by a 'son et lumiŤre' show. For more information see: Source: AOS
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