Sea Sunday Celebrations

Tell us how your parish celebrated Sea Sunday by sending us photos and some text of your parish's Sea Sunday celebrations. We'll put them up on this webpage. Please send your contributions to

St Joseph's, Stepps and St Dominic's, Craigend, Scotland

Euan McArthur, National Development Officer for Scotland, spoke at all five Masses in the Motherwell Diocese parishes and received a warm welcome over the course of his visit. A total of £922 was collected, thanks to the very generous parishioners.

Parish Priest, Father Kenneth O'Brien, thanked AoS for sharing their story and emphasised the importance of seafarers to the country's economy, bearing in mind his own Diocese has no visible coastline. Father O'Brien said: "We are the only landlocked Diocese in Scotland but our reliance on seafarers cannot be questioned. 

"Every one of us should be proud of the original beginnings of Stella Maris here in Scotland and the fact it's now offering practical and spiritual care on an international scale. Apostleship of the Sea is a wonderful charity which deserves out full support." 

Parishioners were happy to chat outside after Mass amid the pleasant temperatures although the often severe conditions facing seafarers wasn't forgotten on the day. 

Father O'Brien said: "We have been blessed with beautiful weather all weekend and we thank God for that. But the reality is very often seafarers have to work in the most severe conditions which must be a hard as many come from much different climates. It's hard to imagine how difficult this must be but now we've been made to think a bit more about what they encounter along the way."

Sea Sunday at St Joseph's Stepps Motherwell

St Bride’s, East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire
St Bride’s parish in East Kilbride more than rallied round as they took Apostleship of the Sea’s strong message to their hearts during the recent celebration of Sea Sunday. AoS made a first-time visit to the Motherwell Diocese parish where parish priest Fr Rafal Sobieszuk welcomed them as they addressed parishioners at all four Masses over the weekend. Read more of the story here.

Sea Sunday at St Bride's East Kilbride

St Catherine Laboure in North Balornock, Glasgow

Parishioners of St Catherine Laboure in North Balornock, Glasgow looked to the future with excitement as they celebrated Sea Sunday recently where they also honoured Apostleship of the Sea’s (AoS) proud past. Those present were delighted to hear of the forthcoming celebrations which will mark AoS’ World Congress and 100th Anniversary which are both taking place in 2020 in Glasgow, the birthplace of the old Stella Maris (which is what AoS was called before). 

Parish priest Fr Tony Gallagher gave the charity a warm welcome, and AoS Scotland Development Officer Euan McArthur and volunteer Graeme Wright spoke at the Masses which raised a very healthy £485. After Mass in the hall, parishioners happily took the time to hear a few more stories over cups of tea.

It was an especially poignant moment when they heard how Euan’s late Uncle, Bobby, tragically drowned after falling between two fishing boats in Ayr Harbour in 1966. Bobby was on board a fishing boat, the Harvest Hope, when the tragedy occurred.

Parish Sacristan Hugh, a long-serving parishioner, spoke of his own memories of AoS and how much he was looking forward to being part of AoS’ celebrations in 2020. Hugh said, “A lot of us in this parish - myself included – have great memories from the days of the old Stella Maris on the banks of the River Clyde. It’s wonderful to hear about 2020 which will be a special time in the charity’s history.” 

Euan said, “We’d like to sincerely thank Fr. Gallagher and the parishioners of St Catherine Laboure for their generosity. Hopefully many of them will be able to join us in our celebrations in three years’ time.”

Sea Sunday at St Catherine Laboure North Balornock

St Mary the Immaculate Conception in Lochee, Dundee

Apostleship of the Sea were given a warm welcome as they made a return visit to St Mary the Immaculate Conception in Lochee, Dundee to celebrate Sea Sunday recently. AoS ship visitor Jacqueline McGuire, who regularly supports seafarers who arrive in the City of Discovery, spoke at both Masses over February weekend on the invitation of Monsignor Aldo Angelosanto. 

Jacqueline’s insight into the issues facing those earning a livelihood at sea was well-received and parishioners responded by raising £270 as well as kindly offering to donate warm hats for seafarers visiting these shores from much warmer climates. Monsignor Aldo thanked Jacqueline for attending his parish which is in the Dunkeld Diocese where AoS Bishop Promoter for Scotland, Bishop Stephen Robson, resides. 

Monsignor Also said, “It was a very interesting talk from Jacqueline and we thank her for coming to our parish and sharing her experiences. Apostleship of the Sea is doing great work here in this city and further afield which we really appreciate and are naturally happy to help.” 

Jacqueline said, “It was really nice being back at St Mary’s, Lochee. The parishioners seemed to enjoy our story and were very generous once more.”

Sea Sunday at St Mary the Immaculate Conception, Lochee

St John the Baptist, Uddingston, South Lanarkshire

Apostleship of the Sea was well received as always in St John the Baptist, Uddingston where they raised £2,016 from their annual Sea Sunday appeal. Former AoS Port Chaplain, Richard Haggarty, is Deacon in the thriving South Lanarkshire parish which has a strong association with the charity and welcomed AoS volunteer Graeme Wright and Euan McArthur, AoS Scottish Development Officer, over the weekend of 4/5 February. 

Richard is the Deacon in Father Dominic Towey's parish in the Diocese of Motherwell, and has consistently spoken about his work for AoS over the years helping seafarers both spiritually and practically until his retirement two years ago. 

Euan said: "I will always be grateful to Richard for taking me on my first-ever ship visit. Seeing him support seafarers arriving in Grangemouth with such care and attention gave me a real insight into what Apostleship of the Sea is all about. We would like to sincerely thank the parishioners of St John the Baptist for their very generous collection towards our mission."

Euan McArthur and Deacon Richard Haggarty at St John the Baptist Uddingston

Glasgow University Chaplaincy and St Joseph's Church, Greenock

Apostleship of the Sea celebrated Sea Sunday at Glasgow University Chaplaincy where students soaked up the charity's message and were eager to offer their support in 2017. Euan McArthur, National Development Officer for Scotland, spoke at all three Masses within the ancient University where he graduated from in 1997. Sea Sunday took place in St Joseph's Church, Greenock, where volunteer Mary Wheeler spoke at all Masses.

AoS Scotland Development Officer Euan McArthur with University students

St Margaret's and Holy Spirit and St Ninians, Stirling, Scotland

AoS remembered all those who lost their lives at sea as they celebrated Sea Sunday in Stirling, Scotland on Remembrance Day. Parish contact, Andy McDonald, and Scottish Development Officer, Euan McArthur, spoke over the course of the three Masses in St Margaret's and Holy Spirit, St Ninians Stirling where they raised £942.

Within close proximity to the port of Grangemouth, parishioners were pleased to hear of all the spiritual and practical assistance being given to seafarers on arriving on these shores.

Parish Priest Fr Michael Adebanjo said: "It's important we remember all those who lost their lives at sea on this special day. Apostleship of the Sea does such great work and we are only too happy to support their mission through Sea Sunday."

Sea Sunday at St Margaret and Holy Spirit Stirling Scotland

St Aloysius, Garnethill, Glasgow 

AoS were given a wonderful reception in their spiritual home of St Aloysius where Sea Sunday took place over the course of the weekend of 1st & 2nd October, raising the healthy sum of £1,590.25. Scottish National Development Officer, Euan McArthur, spoke at four of the five Masses while long-standing parish contact Gina Lowe addressed the congregation at the 12pm Sung Mass. Father Gerard Hassay encouraged full support of AoS in his heartfelt homily on Sunday morning when he remembered the work of the charity in its early days. 

Fr Hassay said: “It’s important to remember Apostleship of the Sea was started in this very parish. So many people here, including myself, have fond memories of what was then known as Stella Maris and the great work it did in serving seafarers visiting our shores on the banks of the River Clyde. We’re delighted to see it still thriving to this day on a worldwide basis and look forward very much to it’s 100th anniversary celebrations here in Glasgow in 2020.” Afterwards in the Auditorium, parishioners heard about the latest AoS stories, including a young Romanian fisherman who remains in a paralysed condition in hospital in Glasgow following a serious head injury sustained while working on the Argyll coast.

Sea Sunday 2016 at St Aloysius Garnethill Glasgow

St Peter's and St Columba's, Aberdeen

AoS Dundee ship visitor Jacqueline McGuire spoke at Mass in St Columba's while our Aberdeen port chaplain Doug Duncan spoke at the Vigil and morning Masses in St Peter's on October 2nd. Sea Sunday liturgy for children was held and parish priest Fr Gabor Czako spoke about the work of AoS with seafarers to the children. Doug and Jacqueline handed out pictures of ships for the children to colour in and went back the week after to give them prizes.

Sea Sunday 2016 at St Columba's Aberdeen  
Sea Sunday 2016 at St Peter's Aberdeen

St Mary's Cathedral, Aberdeen

Doug Duncan, our Aberdeen port chaplain gave a talk at the Cathedral. Here he is with some members of the African Choir. They were joined by two nuns from the Holy Family Sisters of the Needy. Doug gave out prayer cards and knitting patterns.

AoS Aberdeen port chaplain Doug Duncan with the African choir at St Mary's Cathedral  Aberdeen

AoS Aberdeen port chaplain Doug Duncan with the African choir of St Mary's Cathedral Aberdeen

Sacred Heart Church, Newhaven

These photos of a lovely display at the altar and prayer to Stella Maris, Our Lady Star of the Sea was sent to us by Joyce Morgan, AoS parish contact. About £250 was collected from generous parishioners in support of our ministry supporting seafarers. Thank you everyone.

Sea Sunday at Sacred Heart Newhaven
Sea Sunday at Sacred Heart Newhaven

St Thomas of Canterbury, Fairford

The parish celebrated Sea Sunday on 17th July, which coincided with the International Air Tattoo. In spite of the noise and heavy traffic, parish contact Ruth Dipple did two appeals and got a good response. Parishioners also celebrated Evening Prayer for Seafarers that Sunday evening. The choir was very enthusiastic about this. Wonderful effort everyone!

Sea Sunday at St Thomas Canterbury Fairford


St Joseph's, Peebles, Scottish Borders

Our Tilbury port chaplain Wojciech Holub spoke at the Sea Sunday masses. It's a small community but he was very well received by the parishioners and by the parish priest, who shares his name - Fr Wojciech Rybka (seen in the photo)

Sea Sunday at St Joseph's Scottish Borders

Kandla Port, India

Gandhidham is the port city of Kandla Port and St. Thomas Catholic Church is situated in this port city of Gandhidham. To celebrate Sea Sunday this year, AoS Kandla port chaplain Fr Johnson Chirammel invited parishioners to pray for seafarers and all those who are engaged in the maritime industry at a Mass held on 3rd July. A lovely banner with the theme 'The Winds and Seas are subjected to him'  (Mt 8:23-27) was prepared by the Sisters of Destitute from the parish. This was placed at the Altar.  Special prayers for seafarers were said, and Fr Johnson shared photos of his ministry with seafarers, inlcuding celebrating Mass for crew. The local community really appreciates AoS' ministry with seafarers and acknowledged the dedication and hard work of seafarers. ~ Sent in by Fr Johnson Chirammel, AoS Kadla port chaplain.

Sea Sunday at St Thomas Catholic Church Kandla India

St Mary's, Dunstable

AoS East Anglia port chaplain Sr Marian Davey spoke at the parish on Sea Sunday. At the 10:30 Mass, the children's liturgy group went up to the sanctuary with their catechists and parish priest Fr Kieran Magovern Kieron.  The catechists guided the children to create their own prayers to reflect the work and lives of seafarers. With Fr Kieron's encouragement they shared these beautiful prayers with the congregation.  As a tribute to our seafarers they concluded their reflection by singing Michael Row The Boat Ashore - complete with all the actions of rowing a boat! Their prayers and singing were inspirational and uplifting. The photo shows a balloon of the globe was situated in the porch of St Mary's to illustrate the international mix of crews among seafarers today. 

A balloon of the globe which illustrates the international mix of crew today

Tenerife, Spain

Sea Sunday in Tenerife is celebrated in conjunction with the Fiesta Virgen del Carmen on July 16th, and this year as in previous years A Mass was held at the Port Authority Building in Tenerife, where the local Stella Maris is located. The celebration was done together with the port dockworkers in Tenerife. Prayers were also offered for the peoples of the sea and for those who died at sea, as is the case Francisco Ramos who has a monument near the building. There was food and fellowship at the end. ~ Sent in by AoS Tenerife port chaplain Juan Esteban Perez Rodriguez.

Sea Sunday in Tenerife, Spain
Sea Sunday in Tenerife Spain
Sea Sunday in Tenerife Spain

St. Mary’s, Barnstaple

For Sea Sunday this year, a group of parishioners from St. Mary’s decided to put together an 'Experience Journey', which they called “Our Precious Sea”. The 'Experience Journeys' projects was introduced in Barnstaple four years ago through the local Council of Churches and involved a number of local groups of all denominations. During the week following Sea Sunday this year the school children and many parishioners have toured the stations. Some of the stations are shown in the photographs. ~ Sent in by AoS supporter Chris Eastaugh (with thanks to Jumping Fish Ltd®)

Our Precious Sea display at St Mary's Barnstaple for Sea Sunday
Our Precious Sea display at St Mary's Barnstaple for Sea Sunday
Our Precious Sea display at St Mary's Barnstaple for Sea Sunday

Maritime Church, Gdynia, Poland

Apostleship of the Sea in Gdynia together with other maritime institutions inaugurated the Festival of the Sea  on June 24th. Participants gathered in the Maritime Church and after Mass went in a solemn march to the Memorial Plaque of the Polish Seaferer laying flowers there. The celebration was organised by the AoS in Gdynia. On July 9th, seafareres from the ship 'MeinShiff 4' received the Message for Sea Sunday 2016 with a request to take it to the passenger vessel. On Sea SUnday July 10th, the Eucharist was celebrated in the Maritime Church for the seafarers. After Mass a gathering took place in the Stella Maris Club.

Sea Sunday in Gdynia

Seafarers celebrating Sea Sunday in Gdynia

Port Louis, Mauritius

AoS organised a Mass on Sea Sunday at St Leon School in Grand-Gaube. Our Port Louis chaplain Fr Jacques-Henri David celebrated Mass, which was attended by local dignitaries including Premier Minister Xavier-Luc Duval, the Minister of Fishery Prem Koonjoo, the Environment Minister Alain Wong and the Minister of the Commerce and Industry Ashit Gungah.

Also present were some of the crew of MV Benita, who AoS have been supporting since their ship ran aground in June. (Read the story here). The captain of the MV Benita took the opportunity to thank everyone who welcomed and look after the crew.

In his homily Fr Jacques-Henri emphasised the role of the Apostleship of the Sea which is to provide pastoral and practical welfare care to all seafarers regardless of the religion, nationality or gender. Like the Good Samaritan we at Apostleship of the Sea consider seafarers to be our brothers and sisters in Christ.

News clipping of Sea Sunday celebration at Port Louis

St Anna, Ceglie Messapica, Italy

Fr Giorgio Miles, one of our cruise chaplains who lives Italy celebrated Sea Sunday in the little church of St Anna, in Ceglie Messapica. It is 400 years old and the original 900 year old church is below it and can be seen through glass panels in the floor. The congregation was a small group but they were eager to do their bit of seafarers and give AoS the collection for that week. Fr Giorgio reckons that this is the farthest one of our Sea Sunday posters has got. He may be right!

AoS Sea Sunday 2016 poster on the door of the church

The beautiful interior of the church

St Patrick’s, Coatbridge , Scotland

Sea Sunday proved a huge success in St Patrick’s, Coatbridge as Apostleship of the Sea raised £1,771.00, before being guaranteed a welcome return next year. Fr Eammon Sweeney invited Scotland National Development Officer, Euan McArthur, to speak at three of their Masses over the weekend and big-hearted parishioners listening to the latest issues affecting seafarers were only too happy to respond. 

Fr Sweeney, from County Mayo, said: “It was touching to hear Euan speak on the anniversary of his late father who spent many years working so hard on the sea. “Coming from the West of Ireland, I know all about the dangers fishermen face every time they brave all sorts of weathers and conditions so they rightly deserve our respect. “Apostleship of the Sea will always be welcome in this  parish and we look forward to their return in 2017.” Euan returned to the parish a couple of days later to thank the parishioners for their generosity in the busy tea-room after 10am Mass on Tuesday morning when he was presented with the cheque.

A cheque presented to AoS from St Patrick's Coatbridge for Sea Sunday

St Mary Immaculate, Falmouth

The crew of the 'Maersk Weymouth' were able to join the congregation at St Mary Immaculate as they celebrated Sea Sunday. The Maersk Weymouth had come into Falmouth for emergency repair two weeks previously. Due to a work schedule of 6am to 6pm, they had not been able to explore the town. John Pinhay port chaplain was able to arrange transport for the crew to attend Mass on this special day when we focus on the lives of seafarers and the important role they play in all our lives.

In the Gospel for the day Luke 10: 25-37 Jesus talks about who is my neighbour. In the appeal given on the day, the question was asked "How can we be a good neighbour to seafarers?" The congregation were once again very generous in the collection and we all ensured they were shown how much we appreciate the sacrifice they have to make to bring us the goods we rely upon. Our photo shows the crew surrounding the Parish Priest Fr Brian Kenwrick, with John Pinhay and his wife Pat, along with Josie Bee and her daughter Liz.

Crew of Maersk Weymouth join in the Sea Sunday Mass at St Mary Immaculate

St Mungo's Glasgow

Our Grangemouth, Greenock & Leith port chaplain Deacon Joe O'Donnell preached at four masses in St. Mungo's Church in Glasgow City centre for Sea Sunday.

Sea Sunday at St Mungos Deacon Joe O'Donnell 

Port of Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Sea Sunday celebrations in Abidjan officially began a week earlier and on Thursd, 7th July, a one-day conference about 'Facilities and Well-Being Services for Seafarers' was held. The next day a Mass was held for AoS team members and port and maritime employees. On Sea Sunday AoS Abidjan port chaplain Fr Celestin Ikomba went on board the mv Western Owendo and celebrated Mass for the crew, who were delighted and uplifted as they were able to practise their faith - seafarers don't often get the chance to have Mass on board their ships or even attend Mass. 

Fr Celestin celebrates Mass with the crew on board mv Western Owendo

Mass for AoS volunteers, port and maritime employees in Abidjan

Crew of mv Western Owendo with Fr Celestin

Maryport, Cumbria

There was a Churches Together ecumenical service in the Anglican Church in Maryport. Fr Paul Dadson MSP blessed the inshore rescue boat on the afternoon of Sea Sunday and then went to the port and blessed the ships.

Sea Sunday at Maryport, Cumbria

Sea Sunday celebrations at Maryport CUmbria

Dundee Cathedral, Scotland

Many thanks to the Very Rev Kevin Canon Golden (in photo) who welcomed our Dundee ship visitor Jacqueline McGuire. As always a warm welcome and huge support for Sea Sunday and the work of AoS and seafarers.

Sea Sunday at Dundee Cathedral

Civitavecchia Cathedral, Italy

Sea Sunday Mass was celebrated at the Cathedral by Bishop Luigi Marrucci of Civitavecchia-Tarquinia, assisted by AoS Civitavecchia port chaplain Rev Fr  Omar A. Boidi-Couceyro. Also present were Nautical Scouts and representatives from the Coast Guard, Red Cross, City Police, Fishermen, Caritas e Migrantes.

Sea Sunday at Civitavecchia Cathedral
Bishop Marrucci (centre) with Fr Omar and representatives from the different organisations.
Sea Sunday at Civitavecchia Cathedral
Fr Omar with Deacon, Captain Fabrizio Giannini.

St Columba's, Birnam, Dunkeld

Sea Sunday was celebrated up and down the country. In Pertshire, Scotland, our Dundee ship visitor Jacqueline McGuire gave a talk at the Vigil Mass. The Church wan't easy to find, up a single track road and then a dirt track but Jacqueline persisted. She says it was totally worth the effort. Parish priest Fr. Edward Vella was very inspiring, and Jacqueline's talk went down well. Well done Jacqueline and thank you to all the lovely parishioners for your support.

Sea Sunday at St Columba's Birnam Dunkeld


Westminster Cathedral, London

Our Immingham port chaplain Fr Colum Kelly travelled from the north to preach at five Masses at the Cathedral for Sea Sunday. There was a lot of interest from the congregation and they gave generously to the appeals. Huge thanks to Canon Christopher Tuckwell and his team of priests and volunteers for giving AoS such a warm welcome and assisting in the collections. It was also great to see our lovely icon Stella Maris Star of the Sea placed at the front of the Cathedral, and the AoS flag flying proudly above the building. A stall at the back of the Cathedral also provided more information about Sea Sunday and about the work of AoS. 

Stella Maris icon at Westminster Cathedral for Sea Sunday

Fr Colum Kelly (right) and Fr Michael Donaghy from Westminster Cathedral
Fr Colum with Fr Michael Donaghy (with glasses) at the Cathedral

AoS flag above Westminster Cathedral

Holy Trinity and All Saints, Coatbridge, Scotland

Apostleship of the Sea were given a warm welcome as they celebrated Sea Sunday for the first-ever time in the parish of Holy Trinity and All Saints, Coatbridge on the weekend of 25th and  26th June. Scotland National Development Officer, Euan McArthur, spoke at 5.30pm Vigil Mass before returning to the Motherwell Diocese parish on the Sunday for both the 10.30am Mass, followed by the 5.30pm Mass. Despite being in the thick of an intensive fund-raising initiative to raise money for the church roof, parishioners still gave generously - a grand sum of £1,379.00 - and were eager to speak after Mass about the various practical ways in which they can help. AoS would like to thank parish priest Fr Colin Hughes, who’s currently taking a well-earned break, for his generosity in allowing the collection to take place and Fr Duffy from the Xaverian Fathers who encouraged support for AoS in all three Masses. Fr Duffy said: “We are reminded today of the vital role of seafarers in our society and for that reason we should attempt to support them as much as possible."

Sea Sunday celebrated at Holy Trinity and All Saints Coatbridge
From left: John McArthur, Euan McArthur and Fr Duffy.