Father Colum Kelly, of the Diocese of Leeds, has spent the last sixteen years as a chaplain for the seafarer’s charity Stella Maris, working at the port of Immingham in North Lincolnshire. Prior to that he had been Parish Priest at several parishes in the Leeds Diocese: Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Silsden; St Gregory’s, Leeds and St Anthony’s, Beeston.
In his new book At Sea: Awaiting Orders, Fr Colum draws us into the lives of those seafarers, details how freight ships are the lifeblood of industry, and illustrates the hugely important role played by the priests, chaplains and lay visitors of Stella Maris.
Seafarers live an almost nomadic existence, sailing vast distances across the sea from one port to another and often being away from their families for months. For the Catholics among them, this means not being able to go to Mass.
As well as providing practical help to seafarers, Stella Maris, Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) port chaplains also try to support them in their faith. A high percentage of seafarers today come from Catholic regions of the world, such as the Philippines and Goa in India. But the few hours many ships spend in port means there is no chance to attend Mass at a local church and they often look to the port chaplains to celebrate Mass on board ship.
Fr Colum’s humour and kindness – and his keen sense of the whimsical – will keep you reading, and will leave you with a smile on your face.
Learn more about the hidden world of seafaring today!
Fr Colum’s book is available on Amazon now https://www.amazon.co.uk/At-Sea-Awaiting-Colum-Kelly/dp/1908212543/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=colum+kelly&qid=1605535115&s=books&sr=1-1