The Stella Maris Seafarer’s Centre in Melbourne is a not-for-profit organisation and one of 353 centres worldwide providing pastoral care, services, and support for seafaring people.
Stella Maris centres are part of the Catholic Church’s official missionary work in its care of seafarers, and are active in numerous Archdioceses. These centres are a key component of the Apostleship of the Sea (AoS), an agency which is operated globally under the auspices of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrant and Itinerant People in Rome.
The Apostleship of the Sea acts for the Church among the People of the Sea, ever dutiful in the service of care and hospitality:
“I was a stranger and you made Me welcome“Matthew 25:25
Shipping is a crucial, yet often unseen, component of the global economy – we all depend on shipping for a majority of the goods and products we own and/or consume. By extension, we rely on the crews who sail the ships to and from our shores. Seafaring men and women endure many challenges at sea (piracy, dangerous seas etc.), they often experience severe loneliness, isolation and depression, and are separated from their families and friends for months at a time.
The Apostleship of the Sea provides pastoral care to all seafarers and maintains the Stella Maris Centre as a support base. Ship visitors make primary contact with ships’ crews and spend time assisting them in various tasks. Chaplaincy services are coordinated through Stella Maris and offered to seafarers upon request. Stella Maris buses travel to and from the docks constantly and provide a much needed transport service for seafarers. At the Centre, seafarers are provided with an opportunity to communicate with family and loved ones, relax away from their work and living environment, and equip themselves with basic necessities. They are greeted with friendly faces – our staff and volunteers – who provide every possible assistance; naturally, many interesting conversations take place.
A home away from home
“I was a stranger and you made Me welcome” Matthew 25:25
- +61 3 9629 7494
- 600 Little Collins Street, Melbourne