News from Stella Maris

Supporters and staff members of Catholic maritime charity Stella Maris (formerly called Apostleship of the Sea) gathered for a special Mass in St Chad’s Cathedral on Wednesday 10 April to pray for seafarers, fishers, their families, and for those who support them.

Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Bernard. Deacon John Fogarty, Stella Maris’ regional port chaplain for Kent and Medway assisted in the Eucharist celebration, and Tim Hill, Stella Maris CEO, did the readings.

In his homily, Archbishop Bernard said the celebration of the Sella Maris Mass was a good reminder of the Church’s outreach to those who work on the world’s oceans or who travel by sea.

“Our concern for the Church’s universal mission lies at the heart of the Church’s life and it includes a long-standing interest in the lives of those who work at sea.  As Catholics we are part of a worldwide communion with all our fellow Catholics in each continent and Stella Maris offers us a very important reminder of these bonds of communion,” he said.

“Here in Birmingham, we are quite a distance from the sea, but we still remember those at sea with whom we share our faith and whom we seek to support in practical and spiritual ways,” said Archbishop Bernard.

He reminded the congregation that the work of Stella Maris has the encouragement of the Holy See, and that a high percentage of seafarers are Catholics. 

Were it not for the work of Stella Maris, Archbishop Bernard explained, it would be much more difficult for seafarers and fishers to attend Mass or receive the sacraments, receive pastoral care, or maintain contact with their families and their communities back home.

“The work of Stella Maris is helping to make the Kingdom of God present across the world and in particular in those ports and coastal towns where seafarers look for the pastoral care of the local church.  

“When we support the work of Stella Maris we are storing up treasure not for ourselves but for the benefit of others.  Day by day, our prayers and offerings can make an enormous difference in the lives of Catholic brothers and sisters from around the world who know that they are not forgotten,” said Archbishop Bernard.

Mass was followed a convivial lunch at the Cathedral Hall, where Tim Hill welcomed everyone and gave a briefing about Stella Maris’ ministry and work supporting seafarers, fishers and their families.

Parishes in Birmingham and other Dioceses will celebrate Sea Sunday on 14 July this year. This is a day for people to come together to pray for seafarers and fishers, and thank them for the vital role they play in all of our lives, and to pray, and raise funds, for the work of Stella Maris.

If you would like to get involved with the work of Stella Maris, for example by volunteering to become a parish contact, please visit the website or call 0207 901 1931 for more details.

Stella Maris (formerly known as Apostleship of the Sea) is the official maritime charity of the Catholic Church, and provides spiritual, practical, and emotional support to seafarers and fishers, through its network of 19 chaplains and 66 ship-visiting volunteers in the UK.

Photo Gallery

Stella Maris Maris at St Chad's Cathedral