Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - "As Apostolate of the Sea in Australia we have planned various evangelization activities on the Sunday of the Sea, celebrated on July 14th. Among these, the production of a 3-minute video and several press releases to explain the importance of pastoral work in support of seafarers; we have also provided promotional material to the dioceses, such as posters, accessories, publications. Our Chaplains and volunteers visited several parishes: for example, a church in Melbourne hosted some seafarers during Sunday mass. The goal is to let everyone know how important it is to support the Apostolate of the Sea with prayer and all forms of support ". This is what is reported to Agenzia Fides by Roslyn Rajasingam, National Director of the Apostleship of the Sea in Australia.
"We are in Oceania, a new continent, which is maritime par excellence, given that it consists mainly of water. Seafarers spend many months on the high seas, far from their homes, they miss their families, fighting loneliness, fear of pirates and bad weather. About 130,000 sailors, or a number equal to the population of a city like Darwin, arrive each year in Australian ports. This data increases the awareness of the importance of our work", said Rajasingam on the eve of event.
The Sunday dedicated to seafarers, established in 1975, is actively promoted by the Australian Bishops: "There are millions of operators on the high seas: the work of the Apostolate is absolutely vital for these people who work under enormous pressure. That is why we recommend everyone to support the mission of the Apostleship of the Sea", said the president of the Australian Bishops' Conference, Archbishop Mark Coleridge.
In Australia, through the work of chaplains and volunteers, the Apostolate of the Sea is actively involved in supporting ship crews, offering friendship and fostering relationships, organizing Eucharistic celebrations, listening to their needs and providing access to the Internet to enable them to contact families. Moreover, in various ports, maritime operators receive hospitality in the "Stella Maris" centers, run by the Apostolate, thus being able to enjoy an important break from the routine work on board. (LF) (Agenzia Fides, 16/07/2019)