Continue to love each other like brothers, and remember always to welcome strangers, for by doing this, some people have entertained angels without knowing it. (Heb 13:1-2)

Watching the sunset from a different part of the globe everyday one might imagine the life of a seafarer has a touch of romance about it, but today nothing could be further from the truth. It is a hard life and seafarers turn to the Apostleship of the Sea and the Stella Maris Seafarers’ Centres for someone to talk to, laugh amongst, and share a tear with.

Seafarers and fishers are of every nationality and language. Though they go to sea for many different reasons, many go out of sheer economic desperation often supporting extended families. They are away from their homes, their families and friends, for months perhaps years on end.

Their whole existence is strenuous often frightening, and a very lonely one. They are family men and women with simple stories to tell. Sometimes the stories are of hope but often they are tales of solitude and despair.

“I thank the Lord for the work of the Apostleship of the Sea, which for many years has offered human and spiritual support to those who live this difficult and challenging way of life . . . May Our Lady, Star of the Sea, look down in love upon seafarers and their families and upon all those who care for their human and spiritual needs.” Pope Benedict XVI October 2006