Pope Francis has addressed the Regional Coordinators of the Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) who are meeting in Rome this week.
At his General Audience in the Vatican the Pontiff 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.”
The meeting is organized by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, which coordinates the activities of AoS worldwide. The gathering will discuss the work of AoS worldwide and how to better communicate its ministry within AoS’ global organization, to seafarers and to the wider Catholic community.
At the end of the audience he greeted Sr. Mary Leahy, regional coordinator for Oceania and Fr. Celestin Ikomba, regional coordinator for West Africa.
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 week’s meeting will be 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.