The Catholic seafarers charity, Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) is celebrating their 90th anniversary this year with many events around the British Isles. Last Tuesday and Wednesday, members of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerants met representatives of AoS from eleven European countries and a few from further afield, in the Conforti Institute, Coatbridge, to celebrate the anniversary and plan for the future.
Martin Foley National Director for AoS GB said: “It was a wonderful opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the different national AoS organisations and consider how we can cooperate more closely for the benefit of seafarers. We were also given the opportunity to reflect upon and learn from our history in meeting the challenges of today.”
The highlight of the conference was a Mass celebrated in St Aloysius Church in Glasgow, where the AoS was officially started on 4ctober 1920.
By kind permission of Father Peter Griffiths SJ the Parish Priest, Bishop Peter Moran, a Scottish patron of the AoS, presided and preached at the parish evening Mass. He was assisted by Deacon Brian Kilkerr, AoS chaplain for the North-East of Scotland. Local volunteers and supporters of AoS came along to show their support and all moved to an informal reception after the Mass.
Each year in Scotland seafarers make around one hundred thousand calls at ports large or small, bringing 95% percent of the goods sold in shops. Their living conditions are often cramped and difficult and they are months away from home. Modern ships have short turn-around times. The crews have little or even no time ashore. The chaplains and trained volunteer ship visitors of AoS bring care, support, and the love of God to them where they are and when they need it. AoS will continue to provide practical and pastoral care for seafarers worldwide.
For more information see: http://apostleshipofthesea.org.uk/cms/welcome-to-apostleship-sea