Stella Maris Offers Phone Cards & Data SIMs to Ukrainian Seafarers
[By: Stella Maris]
Stella Maris chaplains, volunteers and staff from around the world today joined together in prayer for peace in the Ukraine.
The prayer service, joined by Fr Alexander Smerechynskyy, Stella Maris Ukraine National Director, and port chaplain in Odessa, was convened in response to the call from Pope Francis that Ash Wednesday, 2 March, be designated as a day of prayer and fasting for peace in the Ukraine.
Stella Maris chaplains and ship visitors have been supporting all seafarers during the current crisis. More particularly, they have been providing support to both Ukrainian and Russian seafarers and those seafarers whose ships have had to navigate areas affected by the conflict.
Recognising the anguish of Ukrainian seafarers at this time, anxious for the safety of their family and friends at home, Stella Maris is making phone cards and data SIMs available to Ukrainian seafarers free of charge.
Fr Bruno Ciceri, Stella Maris International Director, said, “Today, we united ourselves in prayer with our Ukrainian brothers and sisters. We prayed for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Stella Maris chaplains around the world will redouble our efforts to support all seafarers affected by this crisis. We fully support the recent call from Kitack Lim, International Maritime Organization Secretary General, that ‘innocent ships, seafarers and port workers engaged in legitimate trade should not be adversely impacted by this growing crisis. Shipping, particularly seafarers, cannot be collateral victims in a larger political and military crisis – they must be safe and secure’.
“Stella Maris urges all governments to ensure the safety of all seafarers caught up in this crisis, their entitlement to adequate shore leave and their access to our welfare services.”
Stella Maris is the largest ship-visiting network in the world with over 1,000 chaplains and volunteers in 330 ports across 60 countries. This team makes 70,000 ship visits in a normal year to vessels of all flags and nationalities to look after the wellbeing and welfare of seafarers and fishers - regardless of their race, creed or faith.
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