Today is World Maritime Day. On Sunday, Pope John Paul II, meeting with visitors at his summer residence near Rome, said: In a special way, on the occasion of World World Maritime Day. I wish to extend my cordial greetings to seafarers of all nations. May God bless you and your work." The Pope is kept informed of the maritime world and the Church's work alongside seafarers by the Rome office of the Apostleship Of The Sea (AOS) in the Vatican. AOS is one of the key welfare societies in the maritime industry and is present in 89 countries around the world. The Apostleship is most familiar to seafarers through the 'Stella Maris' centres they run, welcoming seafarers far from home. AOS provides welfare services for seafarers of all creeds. AOS in England and Wales was re-launched at the Lloyd's building earlier this summer and is currently recruiting four new port chaplains in Cardiff, Hull, Port of Tyne and the South Thames ports. Commodore Chris York National Director of AOS in England and Wales said: "We are delighted that the Pope has again shown that the welfare of seafarers is an important part of the Church's work" Apostleship of the Sea is an agency of the Catholic Bishop's Conference of England & Wales. AOS was founded in Glasgow in 1922 and has since spread to 89 countries around the world. It both a mission and welfare outreach of the Church, providing help to all seafarers regardless of colour, creed or nationality. AOS works closely with its ecumenical partners in mission: Mission to Seafarers and British & International Sailors Society, as well as Deutsche Seemannsmission and the Nordic seafarer societies.
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