Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea)  - Stella Maris (AOS) 東京


AOS-Tokyo despite inclement weather visits ships

Last Tuesday, 25 September 2018, despite inclement weather the Apostleship of the Sea – Tokyo (Stella Maris) had proceeded to visit ships berthed along the vast Tokyo Bay. With the kind assistance of a volunteer, Mr. Aoki who also works at the Japanese Confederation of Port and Transport Workers Union, the staff of AOS Tokyo, Ms. Misaki Iwai and Scalabrinian missionary, Fr. Edwin Corros had paid a visit to the crews of three different ships docked at Aomi and Daiba Ports.

On that rainy day, the first ship AOS-Tokyo had visited was M/V Glory Guandong (HK) parked at the Aomi port. It has 20 Chinese crews on board, of whom two seafarers had cordially welcomed the AOS personnel. One of them, being the second officer spoke relatively good English. The exchange of pleasantries between the seafarer and the AOS people revolved around the time they had been seafarers and the situation of their families. From Tokyo, the cargo ship is bound to return to Shanghai.

The second ship that was visited by AOS – Tokyo was M/V Fesco Dalnegorsk (Limassol), which was parked next to Glory Guandong. The cargo vessel manned by 23 crews, all Russians had travelled from Singapore and will deliver its cargoes to four other cities of Japan. In a conversation with the two Russian seafarers who received AOS personnel with enthusiasm, they had expressed the desire to visit a nearby duty free store. Ms. Iwai gladly instructed them how to get to a nearby mall where, duty free items are undoubtedly available. They were also provided with a map of the port and the city of Tokyo in case they wish to move around the city.

From Aomi port, the AOS – Tokyo personnel had moved to the other side of the bay at Daiba port and visited M/V Pathfinder, the third and last ship they visited that day. The huge containership of Panama flagship was manned by twenty Filipino crews and three Korean officers. Upon arrival at the ship, one Filipino crew immediately ushered the AOS personnel to its refectory, where several of the crews were already having lunch. Aware of their busy schedule at work, the AOS people did not stay long, but had left the seafarers some reading materials that may address their spiritual and religious needs. In a span of two months, the Pathfinder was unintentionally visited by AOS twice.

Visiting seafarers at the ship while docked at ports is indeed a special ministry of the Catholic Church towards people whose lives are mostly spent at sea. To talk to the seafarers allows likewise visitors to discover and appreciate the lives of those who had spent most of their time sailing in deep waters sacrificing themselves to live far away from home and loved ones. Their work facilitates the rest of the people in any given society to enjoy the product of the transfer of goods from one country to another.
Prepared by: Fr. Edwin D. Corros, CS


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