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A Glimpse of the Seafarers’ World

2021-05-12
Orientation at Minato Catholic Church
At customs
Heading to the ship

On April 23rd, I joined for the first time Stella Maris (AOS-Apostleship of the Ship) in Nagoya.  The team is composed of 8 members with Fr. Antonio Kiyotsugu Yamano, OSA —the parish priest of Minato Catholic Church—as our leader. Before proceeding to the port, we met at the church for briefing and orientation. Then, we went to customs to get permission of traffic to the ships at Nagoya Port. We intended to visit four ships that day but we ended up visiting only three. Due to the Corona Virus, the usual apostolates with the seafarers like counseling, helping them to communicate with their families from home, taking them out to buy what they need or to visit churches, etc. cannot be done. Currently, the ships do not entertain visitors from outside and they do not allow their men to leave the port. With these restrictions, the team opted to prepare for a number of copies of reading materials like newsletters and pamphlets to be given to them. Hoping that these could give them a glimpse of what is happening outside their ships. 

フィリピン船員と

With the first ship we visited, the reading materials we offered were declined because they were not permitted to accept anything from the outside. With the second ship, we were fortunate to meet five Filipino seamen outside the ship. We were able to talk with them for a while and they gladly accepted the reading materials we offered. With the third ship, we were again fortunate to see a seaman by the ship. We asked him if he would take the reading materials we brought for them to read and he gladly took them. First we were speaking with him in English but when sister asked him where he came from, he suddenly spoke in Filipino and then started a friendly conversation.

It is a pity that because of Corona, we cannot do much with them. But I am grateful to have encountered some of them. For even with this very brief encounter, I somehow got an idea of the part of their world. This enabled me to think of and pray for them more concretely. And I would like to believe that their meeting with us also could give them consolation knowing that someone thinks and prays for them. 

 

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