Mass was celebrated by Bishop Alan Hopes and attended by AoS port chaplain, volunteers, supporters, head office staff and local parishioners. AoS East Anglia port chaplain Patricia Ezra was commissioned during Mass.
In his homily, Bishop Alan reminded those present how Mary is the special patron of all seafarers who turn to her as they face the difficulties and frustrations of working at sea, away from their loved ones for such long spells.
“Many seafarers are Catholic and I’ve seen your work in the ports of Felixstowe and King’s Lynn in East Anglia. It’s a service that has touched and continues to touch the hearts of so many seafarers,” he said.
“You befriend them, you respond to their immediate needs, connect them with their families, provide them with assistance to go to Mass and through the local priests assist them in their spiritual needs so their faith is renewed and strengthened.”
He added that AoS brings to seafarers a sense of community where they feel loved and supported, so they know that they are more than just a drop in the huge ocean.
“Seafarers welcome the humbling strength of your prayer and love. This is your proclamation of the Gospel, of God’s love – all carried out under the guidance of Mary, Star of the Sea. Thank you for all that you do,” said Bishop Alan.
Martin Foley, AoS National Director, said, “I would like to thank Bishop Alan for leading our celebration of Mass and the Diocese of East Anglia for their ongoing support for our work.”
Pictured above, AoS East Anglia port chaplain Patricia Ezra was commissioned during Mass.