Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People
People on the Move
N° 106 (Suppl.-I), April 2008
An Introduction to the “AoS Manual for Chaplains and Pastoral Agents”
Msgr. Jacques HAREL
Apostleship of the Sea International
1. Why a Manual for Chaplains and Pastoral Agents?
The main reason is the great demand among chaplains, ship visitors and volunteers for a manual that would help them respond to the daily challenges of their apostolate. It is intended, therefore, to listen to the numerous requests we have received, to revise and update the existing Manual, which was published in 1990.
This new Manual is a sign of hope as it wishes to provide, albeit concisely, the vision of AOS concerning its engagement in the maritime world and an overview of the Church’s Teaching in this domain. It also intends to sustain and encourage the activity of so many Catholics engaged in this apostolate.
Often people are surprised or do not understand the Church’s involvement in this sector. It is therefore hoped that with this Manual, as we strive “to give the reasons for our hope” for the maritime milieu, this will become more evident.
2. The principles that have inspired this handbook are to be found in the introductory letter to the Manual of H.E. Cardinal Martino and H.E. Archbishop Marchetto, of which I give you here the highlights:
3. Let us go now rapidly through the different chapters and content of the Manual. It is divided into 8 parts.
PASTORAL CARE IN THE MARITIME WORLD
This is a general introduction to AOS and to the maritime apostolate.
- The Apostleship of the Sea: some historical highlights
- The Work of the Maritime Apostolate. What is its specificity?
- The Challenge facing AOS. It is the most difficult and most globalised industry and this reflects on our ministry.
- Responding to a changing maritime milieu. As we have said, it is an ever-changing context and the challenge is to keep pace with it. Seafarers are increasingly being recruited from developing countries where wages are lower. As a result, crews are becoming smaller and multinational, multicultural and multireligious.
- Care of the universal and of the local Church
. The universal dimension
. The local dimension
- A missionary engagement. Here we discuss the evangelisation and missionary dimension of our maritime apostolate.
THE CHAPLAINCY TEAM
It deals with the role of each one and with the importance of team work and of team building.
WELCOME, SOLIDARITY AND SERVICE
The Manual offers guidelines to Ship visitation, which is such an important part of our apostolate. Especially here we have tried to adopt and keep the same procedures as our ICMA colleagues, emphasising the fact that the port is a highly professional and challenging environment. All ship visitors must have a proper understanding of shipboard protocol and safety regulations.
- The Port Environment and Operation
- Ship Visitation
- Planning a Ship Visit
- Safety on Ship and Dock
- Various Questions of Protocol
- Ships with Special Needs
- On-board Problems and Practical Aid
- A Word of Caution for the Seafarer while in Port
COMMITTED TO SERVE AND GIVE WITNESS
This part is devoted to the role of the laity, volunteers and seafarers families.
- Membership of the AOS
- Promotion of On-Board Christian Community
- Christian Hospitality
- Host Families
- The Seafarer’s Family
- Students of Nautical Institutes
WORKING TOGETHER AS A NETWORK
The Work of the Maritime Apostolate is a world wide organisation. While respecting local conditions and each one’s specificity, national, regional and international coordination is important and is achieved through:
- Sea Sunday celebration
- Annual Report
- The AOS International Website
- Correspondence and Records
ECUMENISM AND INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE
The maritime ministry is perhaps the most ecumenical of all ministries and we have a long tradition of ecumenism at the AOS. To-day, however, we have more and more seafarers who belong to other religions and inter religious dialogue is a necessity.
- Ecumenical Co-operation in the Maritime Ministry
- Some Guiding Principles of Ecumenism
- Inter-religious Dialogue
SECTORS IN NEED OF SPECIAL ATTENTION
AOS has always been close to fishing communities, but there are also emerging categories of seafarers who need our pastoral care.
- Fishers and Fishing Communities
- The Port Workers
- Cruise Ships
- The Yachting Community
- Lakes and Rivers
- Preservation of the environment
This last part is devoted to:
Patrons – Prayers – Logo
And then we have 10 appendices which are intended to cover other topics and also to enlarge on some of the subjects already discussed.
APPENDIX I - Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio Stella Maris on the Maritime Apostolate
APPENDIX II - Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea
APPENDIX III - ICMA
APPENDIX IV - Guiding Principles for Ecumenical Cooperation
APPENDIX V - The Regional Coordinator
APPENDIX VI - AOS International Fishing Committee
APPENDIX VII - ILO and IMO
APPENDIX VIII - ITF-ST, ISAN and ICSW
APPENDIX IX - Seafarers’ Rights and Advocacy
APPENDIX X - Glossary of Seafarers’ Welfare Agencies