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Papal blessing honour for Suffolk ship visitor Julian

Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea) Felixstowe ship visitor and parish contact Julian Wong has been awarded a Papal Blessing in recognition of his work with the Catholic seafarers’ charity.

Julian was presented with the certificate at a Mass for Stella Maris supporters held at the Seafarers Centre, Felixstowe Port on January 28. Mass was celebrated by Fr John Barnes in the chapel above the Centre.

“The Papal Blessing was totally unexpected and I felt very blessed and humbled when I was presented with it. Seafarers should be the ones to receive this for they do all the hard work. I share this Blessing with all my brothers and sisters in Christ, who spend long periods away from their loved ones,” he said.

Julian has been a Stella Maris ship visitor since November 2014 and last August reached a milestone in his ship visiting ministry, visiting his 1,000th ship, the Seucia Seaways.

“I find my visits extremely rewarding and consider myself very lucky to be able to stand next to the world’s largest container ships, board them and meet the crew on board. I listen to what the seafarers say, share their ups and downs, pray with them and for them and their families,” says Julian who also regularly distributes Communion to Catholic seafarers who request the Sacrament.

He added: “I am privileged to be part of Stella Maris, which this year celebrates its Centenary, having been founded in Glasgow 100 years ago. God bless all seafarers and their families!”

Pictured above is Julian Wong being presented with his Papal Blessing by Port Chaplain Pat Ezra.