Pope Francis addressed the Regional Coordinators of the Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) meeting in Rome in January.
At his General Audience in the Vatican the Pontiff (pictured) called on those who work for the wellbeing of seafarers and the families to “be the voice of those workers who live far from their loved ones and face dangerous and difficult situations.” At the end of the audience he greeted Sr Mary Leahy, regional coordinator for Oceania and Fr Celestin Ikomba, regional coordinator for West Africa.
The meeting was organised by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, which coordinates the activities of AoS worldwide. The gathering discussed the work of AoS worldwide and how to better communicate its ministry within AoS’ global organisation, to seafarers and to the wider Catholic community. AoS Great Britain National Director Martin Foley told Vatican Radio in Rome the talks come out of AoS’ World Congress in November 2012 where about 400 delegates including port chaplains, national directors and volunteers, gathered to reflect on their ministry to seafarers. Foley says this meeting was the first time that the Regional Directors elected at that Congress have come together to reflect on the challenges to their ministry. “Some of the challenges we face include how to renew and adapt our ministry to seafarers, the people we serve. We need to constantly find ways to deepen our engagement with seafarers and to reassure seafarers of our presence and support, regardless of their faith,” he told Vatican Radio