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Apostleship of the Sea

The Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) is one of the parish's major missions and is only possible through the voluntary work of our ship visitors and the support of parishioners.

Every time we visit a ship it can be quite daunting not knowing what to expect but we know we are in your prayers and this helps us overcome any issues we might face. Despite visiting ships for the last ten years we continue to come across situations we have not met before.

At a recent conference it was explained to us that seafarers, who are overwhelmingly from distant countries, are considered as "migrant workers". They are working incredibly hard for long periods away from home so that their families can enjoy a decent standard of living. With this in mind they have a lot in common with those migrants making hazardous trips in small boats across the Mediterranean and other seas. It is a common event for cargo ships, passing through the Med, to sea boats loaded with migrants and here is the dilemma. Their overwhelming desire is to try to help those they see suffering but this is not possible. The ships, often with crews of 6 or 7 are not equipped to pick up hundreds of people. Even if they could try the ships are simply not designed for picking up hundreds of people with their sides towering up to 100 feet out of the water. Additionally these ships are under massive cost constraints and to divert to different ports, become held up for days can be disastrous. The owners have therefore told crews to ignore the migrant boats.

It is just another hazard that seafarers face that we never see and it is heartbreaking. Please pray for migrant workers of all descriptions that their misery may be relieved and that whatever happens they don't lose hope. At the end of the day we are all economic migrants of one description or another.

P Morrissey




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