The Apostleship of the Sea comes home:
a celebration of a worldwide Scottish success story
Time and place:
St Aloysius Church, Glasgow (25 Rose Street, Glasgow G3 6RE)
at 11 a.m. on Saturday 4th June 2005
Those present will include:
Rt Hon Michael Martin MP, Speaker of the House of Commons
Most Rev Mario Conti, Archbishop of Glasgow
Rt Rev Peter Moran, Bishop of Aberdeen
The Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) is the Catholic Church s outreach to the millions of seafarers engaged in the international shipping industry. Ninety-five percent of world trade is carried by ship, and every year over 10,000 merchant ships visit Scotland alone. However, the conditions of seafarers themselves are hidden from us.
Seafarers are typically away from home for nine months at a time. They suffer loneliness, depression and even exploitation, while their working conditions are cramped and often dangerous. AOS port chaplains and ship visitors provide seafarers with companionship, practical assistance and spiritual support.
AOS was founded in Glasgow in 1922, and has since spread around the world. It is now active in over 100 countries, but its Scottish roots and the small band of Scottish Catholics who were responsible for the original vision are not forgotten.
The international shipping industry has changed radically in recent years as a result of globalisation and rationalisation. Average turnover time for ships in port has been reduced to just 12 hours and ports have been relocated to areas away from towns and traditional port centres. In recognition of these changed circumstances, AOS in Scotland is changing emphasis away from the provision of hostels for seafarers and will concentrate on ship visiting, drop-in centres and sea-going chaplaincy. In order to achieve this new ministry more effectively, it is joining up with its counterpart in England & Wales to form one entity for Great Britain.
This relaunch is being celebrated where it all began, in St Aloysius Church, Glasgow (25 Rose Street, Glasgow G3 6RE) at 11 a.m. on Saturday 4th June 2005 with a celebration Mass presided over by the Most Rev Mario Conti, Archbishop of Glasgow. This will be followed by a reception in the Clavius Forum, St Aloysius College.
Among the dignitaries and representatives of the Church and shipping industry present for the celebration will be the Rt Hon Michael Martin, Speaker of the House of Commons and the son of a merchant seaman. He will say a few words at the reception.
Members of the press are warmly invited to attend the celebration. More information about the event, and the work of AOS (an agency of the Catholic Church and a charity wholly reliant on voluntary donations), are available from AOS on 020 7588 8285 or at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Julia Robinson (Director of Communication) or Dominic Baster (Press Officer) can also be contacted on 07906 098836.
Catholic Media Office
5 St. Vincent Place
0141 221 1168