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Archbishop Peter celebrates Stella Maris Mass in Southwark

23rd September 2016

The Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) is a great example of the Works of Mercy by the Church, offering friendship and support to seafarers, said Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark. 
              In his homily at a Mass to celebrate the feast of Stella Maris, Our Lady Star of the Sea, Archbishop Peter said, “This Charity is indeed a wonderful work of mercy and we thank God today for all of you who support this work as volunteers, or who help to provide the financial support without which this work of mercy could not continue.” 
              About 100 people comprising AoS ship visiting volunteers, parish contacts, supporters and office staff attended the Mass held at St George’s Cathedral on September 20th. 
              Archbishop Peter said globalisation and the drive for greater profit margins as well as technological advances had changed the face of shipping and the working environment of seafarers, with ships getting larger and crews smaller. 

Archbishop Peter Smith meets AoS supporters and volunteers at a reception after Mass
Photo: (c) Sophie Stanes / Life Through A Lens Photography.      

              “Today’s seafarer is no longer in port for a few nights, but often only for a few hours.  In these changed circumstances they can’t use hostels as in the old days, but they benefit enormously by the visits to their ships by chaplains and volunteers, and have the benefit of a modern drop-in centre inside the docks which they can come to if time allows.”  (Download Archbishop's homily here).
              During Mass, Archbishop Peter also asked for the intercession of Our Blessed Lady for all seafarers and for the flourishing of AoS.
              He said the title Stella Maris, Our Lady Star of the Sea, emphasised Mary’s role as a sign of hope and as a guiding star for Christians, and particularly as the guide and protector of those who travel or seek their livelihoods on the sea. 
              “It’s a day for us to pray for all seafarers and give thanks for their contribution to global trade.  It’s a day too, to give thanks to God and to Our Blessed Lady for the ongoing work of mercy by the Apostleship of the Sea.” 
              After Mass a reception was held at Amigo Hall with food and drink for everyone.

AoS Stella Maris Mass held at St George's Cathedral Southwark
Photo: (c) Sophie Stanes / Life Through A Lens Photography. 

* More photos can be seen on our Flickr page here.