One of the highlights of my time at the International Christian Maritime Association” was an invitation to address the 23rd World Congress of the Apostleship of the Sea. The presentation, delivered in the John Paul 2 Synod Hall in the Vatican in November 2012, was followed by a private audience with Pope Benedict 16.
“New Evangelisation” is the Catholic Church’s response to aggressive atheism, rising animosity directed at the church and the wholesale rejection of faith in favour of secularism.
The Apostleship of the Sea (and Stella Maris) are the Roman Catholic Church’s initiatives for outreach to merchant seafarers. The AOS adopted the Church’s initiative of “New Evangelisation” as the theme for their Congress, and uses it to reinvigorate their missions to seafarers.
The Apostleship of the Sea is a founder member of the International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA). I am the General Secretary of ICMA, an umbrella for 28 societies who offer faith-based care to seafarers from shoreside facilities in ports. ICMA is unique: it is an ecumenical association with possibly the widest range of faith traditions in its membership, ranging from Pentecostal Protestantism to Catholicism and Orthodoxy. It is as General Secretary of ICMA that I was invited to speak in Rome.
The audience included the Apostleship of the Sea’s global network of chaplains, lay pastors, priests, bishops and cardinals.
Attached here is the paper delivered there. It was accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation. The brief was to investigate the possible application of “New Evangelisation” in the ecumenical context of ICMA. Could “New Evangelisation” be relevant across the Association’s membership and inform our ecumenical working? My answer was a resounding “Yes!”
I was honoured by the recognition given to me. I was humbled by the experience.