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- Seafarers' Centres

Seafarers' Centres

paseo_001Seafarers' centres give visiting seafarers the chance to relax in a friendly and safe environment. Centres offer a meeting point and a source of information.

Visiting seafarers are encouraged to communicate with their families by post, telephone or internet, depending on what is available locally. Other services might include: exercise and leisure facilities; shops selling toiletries, phone cards and souvenirs; books and clothing; and a bar, restaurant or cafeteria.

Wherever possible, arrangements are made for Catholic seafarers to receive the sacraments from the chaplain or local parish priest. Most seafarers' centres have their own chapel or prayer room.

In many countries seafarers' centres also offer services to local seafarers and to family and community groups. These include orientation courses for new graduates of maritime schools and skills training or support groups for seafarers' families and wives.

Centres run by the Apostleship of the Sea are traditionally called Stella Maris Centres. In many ports around the world the Apostleship of the Sea works from ecumenical seafarers' centres in partnership with other Christian churches.

Photograph: A seafarer receives a free haircut at the Stella Maris Centre in Barcelona where the service is available every Friday night.

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