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Spiritual Care

Spiritual Care of Seafarers, Fishers & their Families

Mass Onboard ShipSustaining faith, nurturing spirituality and working for the dignity of all seafarers All People of the Sea have spiritual needs whatever their cultural and religious background. The Apostleship of the Sea promotes the moral and cultural values inherited from home communities. Harsh living and working conditions sometimes challenge these values.

The Apostleship of the Sea takes an holistic approach, treating seafarers as whole persons with needs in both body and soul. The Apostleship of the Sea is committed to ecumenism and interreligious dialogue. However ICMA does not support churches or sects which have aggressive recruitment policies and wish to gain access to seafarers for conversion purposes.

The Apostleship of the Sea works for unity, peace and tolerance. We respect and value other religious beliefs. Chaplains and ship visitors approach seafarers as friends offering spiritual support on the seafarers' own terms. Around the world, the Apostleship of the Sea assists visiting seafarers to fulfil their spiritual needs. Typically this includes: making contact with priests or ministers of religion; transport to places of worship; and distributing spiritual literature suitable for interreligious use.

Catholic Seafarers

Keeping the faith, living it on land and sea is not an easy challenge for anyone. The Apostleship of the Sea supports Catholic seafarers in their faith in a multitude of ways, including transport to Mass at seafarers' centres or local parishes; arranging Mass or Eucharistic services onboard ship; distribution of literature and faith articles such as rosaries and icons.

Photograph: Fr José Juan Cervantes celebrates the Eucharist onboard a petrol tanker in the port of Buenos Aires. The celebration was attended by Catholic and Orthodox members of the crew.

Spirituality is not ideology, it is not strategy or a clever tactic in order to achieve our goals or target. It is a choice, a commitment to live our Christian vocation which is fellowship and fellowship of Christ in a way adapted to our particular mission.

Mgr Jacques Harel
AOS International Office

 

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