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					                     CATHOLIC
                         MARITIME
                                                                          NEWS
April 2007                                                                                                                                Vol. 64, No. 4




Focus on Catholic Chaplains
   USMMA
By Jon Furukawa AOS-USA Vice President                               One of Chaplain Coyle’s best experiences was while on
                                                                   a carrier battle group deployment when visiting a civilian
  While I was taking a license renewal course at the U .S .        manned Military Sealift Command ship by the “holy helo”
Merchant Marine Academy at King’s Point, NY, I was able to         and finding an able seaman with cancer who wanted to be
interview Chaplain Coyle and Chaplain Shuley, the outgoing         confirmed . After getting special permission from the Archdio-
and incoming Catholic Chaplains .                                  cese for the Military Services, the entire ship’s company was
                                                                   present for the confirmation on Palm Sunday at sea .
Any challenges as the USMMA chaplain?
  The major challenge is campus ministry; we must function         Any advice for AOS-USA chaplains?
as a pastor, mentor and advisor to 17-18 year old midship-           AOS-USA chaplains know better than we do of the special
men . We have to query our midshipmen to find out if they          circumstances for merchant mariners providing the connec-
have had all their sacraments . I found three midshipmen who       tion to home, Church, resources, liaison and facilitation .
where born and raised in “Catholic” families who have not            By default with fewer military priests, AOS will become
been confirmed . Catechizing through and around their sea          more important for smaller military vessels calling on ports
year, we confirmed them into the Church on Sunday, March           without major military facilities . We encourage local AOS-
18, 2007 .                                                         USA port chaplains to contact the local Navy or Coast Guard
                                                                   Public Affairs Officer or Military Chaplain to office to hold
Anything unique as the USMMA chaplain?                             Mass when one of these smaller military vessels calls at your
  King’s Point is different from all other federal academies .     port . AOS-USA port chaplains can also provide liaison with
The midshipmen are not Coast Guard, not Navy, not Marine           the American Red Cross and mutual aid societies with military
Corps . There is also high turnover while the midshipmen get       seafarers in need .
their required sea service during their sea year . This is the
only federal academy that regularly sends their midshipmen         Any last words?
into harm’s way . Many of the midshipmen have been awarded           AOS-USA does very good work with few resources . AOS-
the Merchant Marine Expeditionary Medal for the Global War         USA chaplains are very adaptive and keep up their good
on Terrorism service .                                             work . Chaplain Coyle’s favorite picture is of Jesus behind
  Chaplain Shuley added that as the base Catholic Chaplain         the seafarer at the helm, which emphasizes that seafarers
in Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory; he also min-      need the Church .
istered to the crew members of the ten civilian manned ships
                                                                            See Biographies for Chaplains Coyle and Shuley,
that made up the Maritime Preposition Squadron .
                                                                                                                        Page 3
Any advice for Catholic seafarers?
  Take your references to sea . We give the midshipmen a               Inside ...                                                                     Page
Bible, the Rosary, and Armed with Faith, A Catholic Hand-              President’s Column  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 2
book for Military Personnel (available for free from the               Merchant Marine, Crewing Practices  .  .  .  .  .  .4-5
Archdiocese for the Military Services 202-269-0100 or info@            Piracy Updates  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .6-7
milarch .org), to take to sea . Going to sea is like a religious       Port Ministry -Fishing Aid, AOS Chaplains .  . 8
retreat: pray; encourage your sea partner; make an effort to
get to church when in port .                                           Cruise News, Cruise Ship Ministry  .  .  .  .  .  . 9-11
Page                                                             March 007                                             Catholic Maritime News


                  CATHOLIC MARITIME NEWS                                President’s Column...
                 is published 12 times a year by                        Memorials and Memories
                                                                          In the US maritime community, May is a
                  The Apostleship of the Sea                            very important month . As maritime ministers,
         United States Conference of Catholic Bishops                   and Catholic professional mariners, we can use
                                                                        the month to focus the public’s attention on our
                     E-mail: aos-usa@usccb.org                          domestic maritime industry, and the many men
                     Website: www.aos-usa.org                           and women who make our lives great by the
                                                                        work they do .
                                                                          Certainly at the top of the list is National
                   Rev. Sinclair Oubre, J.C.L.                          Maritime Day (see www .marad .dot .gov/
                      Design/Production Editor                          Maritime%20Day%202007/Maritime%20Day .html) . Special activi-
                                                                        ties will be held in Washington, D .C . and in San Pedro . In addition,
                         Tracie Middleton                               many of our local ports, merchant marine veterans associations, and
                        Composition & Layout                            seafarer centers will be holding their own observances . We strongly
                                                                        encourage you to follow the direction of President Bush:
 If you are not an AOSUSA member, consider joining                        “I call upon all the people of the United States to mark this
 as an Affiliate, Associate,Cruise Ship Priest, Mariner,                observance by honoring the service of merchant mariners and by
         Pastoral, or Student Mariner member”                           displaying the flag of the United States at their homes and in the
                                                                        communities . I also request that all ships sailing under the American
                                                                        flag dress ship on that day .”
     please send information for CMN or membership inquiries to
                                                                          May 22 is also the second anniversary of National Day of Prayer
                         1500 Jefferson Drive
                                                                        and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea . Sr . Myrna
                         Port Arthur TX 77642
                                                                        Tordillo, our new AOS-National Director has recently sent letters
              Tel. (409) 985-4545; Fax (409) 985-5945
                                                                        to many of our maritime ministers encouraging them to organize
                     email aosusa@sbcglobal.net                         special prayer services for that day . She included the letter of Arch-
                                                                        bishop Malcolm Ranjith of the Congregation for Divine Worship
Officers & Board Members 2006-2007                                      and the Sacraments authorizing the use of the Mass of the Blessed
                                                                        Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea in the United States . She has also
Executive Board
                                                                        included the text, and readings for the liturgy .
President                   Rev . Sinclair K . Oubre, J .C .L .           The month of May also is the beginning of graduation season at
                            409-982-5111                                our maritime academies and training schools . Hundreds of new 3rd
Vice-President              CDR Jon Furukawa, USNR                      mates and 3rd engineers will complete their training, and head out to
                            202-493-1014                                sea in the US Merchant Marine . Let us pray for all those graduating
Treasurer                   Deacon Patrick LaPointe                     from United States Merchant Marine Academy, Texas Maritime
                            337-436-1315                                Academy, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Maine Maritime
Secretary                   Fr . William E . Reynolds                   Academy, Great Lakes Maritime Academy, New York Maritime
                            641-236-5289                                Academy and California Maritime Academy
                                                                          Other mariners will also be graduating from the unlicensed ap-
Board Members
                                                                        prenticeship program at the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Train-
Pacific              Fr . Henry Hernando                                ing and Education, and other union and private maritime training
                     310-833-3541                                       facilities .
Great Lakes & Rivers Fr . James P . Keating                               This is a great time to focus on the great seafarers of the past, to pray
                     773-734-4921                                       for those who have gone before us and continue to work to at sea, and
Gulf Coast           Fr . Rivers Patout                                 to celebrate the next generation of US professional mariners .
                     713-672-0511
East Coast           Fr . Tom Falkenthal                                Please Pray for:
                     954-467-7330                                          - Repose of the soul of former Cruise Ship Priest mem-
Cruise Ship Priest   Fr . Mathew R . Mauriello                          ber, Msgr. Thomas Kiefer of North Hollywood, CA.
                     203-334-2447                                          - Repose of those lost on the Indonesian ferry Levina I.
                                                                           - Repose of the soul of Piper Cameron who died in an
Bishop Promoter       Most Rev . Curtis J . Guillory                    accident aboard the tug Emma Foss and healing for Scott
409-838-0451, (Bishop of the Diocese of Beaumont, TX)                   Dekraai, who was injured in the same accident.
                                                                           - Mark Gervais, Second Mate on the U.S.-flag M/V
                                                                        Atlantic Forest, and his fellow crewmembers as they sail
National Director   Sr . Myrna Tordillo
                                                                        without him.
202-541-3226, (USCCB-Washington, D .C .)                                   - Ships: Celebrity Infinity, Mercury, & Millenium.
Catholic Maritime News                                          March 007                                                         Page 


CDR Robert J. Coyle, CHC USN                                            LCDR Keith J. Shuley, CHC USNR
Biography                                                               Biography

  Chaplain Robert J .                                                     Chaplain Shuley
Coyle is a chaplain with                                                was born in 1958
the United States Navy .                                                in Boston MA to
He holds the rank of                                                    Claudette (Higgins)
Commander . A Naval                                                     and The Late Walter
Reservist since 1988 as                                                 Shuley .
a chaplain candidate and                                                  Educated in the
reserve chaplain, he was                                                We y m o u t h M A
recalled to active duty                                                 public school sys-
in 1999 as an active                                                    tem grades 1-8 and
duty chaplain and has                                                   graduated from
ministered to the Navy,                                                 Barnstable HS in
Marine Corps, Coast                                                     Hyannis MA in
Guard and Merchant                                                      1976 . Selected
Marine .                                                                to the National
  As a reserve chap-                                                    Honor Society he
lain 1988-1999, his                                                     also earned 7 to-
assignments included                                                    tal letters in Cross
SURFLANT REL 202,                                                       Country, Indoor
Merchant Marine Op-                                                     Track and Outdoor
erations Unit 102 and 2nd Battalion 25th Marines . Serving overseas     Track . Chaplain Shuley graduated from St . Thomas Jr . College
in Battle Griffin 99(Norway), Naval hospital Guam, USEUCOM,             in Bloomfield CT in 1978 with an A .A . degree in Liberal Arts,
Stuttgart, Germany and underway on USS RANGER, USS                      University of Hartford in 1980 with a B .A . degree in Philosophy,
EISENHOWER, USS MANITOWOC and USS KEARSARGE .                           and St . John’s School of Theology in Boston MA with a M . Div .
Stateside base reserve assignments included the US Naval                degree in 1984 .
Academy, USCG Base Governors Island, NAS Oceana, Navsta                   Following completion of academic studies Chaplain Shuley was
Norfolk, NAS Pensacola and NTC San Diego .                              employed by the Eagle Snacks Division of Anheuser Busch, and
  While on active duty 1999 to the present he has served overseas       enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1987 . Chaplain
in Okinawa with Marines in the 3rd Marine Division (1999-00)            Shuley was meritoriously promoted to PFC, LCPL and CPL dur-
and on USS HARRY S TRUMAN (CVN 75) .(00-03) Deployed                    ing his enlistment, and was awarded an Honorable Discharge in
for Landing Force CARAT, Operations Southern Watch, Endur-              1991 . He served at MCRD Parris Island, Supply School Camp
ing Freedom and Iraqi Freedom he has completed three major              Lejeune, 3d FSSG Camp Pendleton, and MARDET Theodore
deployments at sea .                                                    Roosevelt CVN 71 .
  Presently Chaplain Coyle serves as Command Chaplain at                  Chaplain Shuley began his internship for ordination follow-
the United States Merchant Marine Academy located in Kings              ing his discharge from the Marines . He was ordained a Roman
Point, New York . Kings Point is one of our nation’s Five Federal       Catholic Priest for the Diocese of Corpus Christi and the Military
Service Academies .                                                     Archdiocese USA in 1992 .
  Before entering military service, Chaplain Coyle studied at             Chaplain Shuley was commissioned a LTJG in the Chaplain
Fordham University and Immaculate Conception Seminary . He              Corps shortly after his ordination . He served in the Diocese of
holds a bachelor degree in economics and two graduate degrees:          Corpus Christi and drilled in the Naval Reserve, until his recall
Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theology .                     to active duty in 1995 . Chaplain Shuley served at NSA/NATO
  A native of Long Island, New York he was ordained a Roman             Naples Italy, 31st MEU in Okinawa Japan, Coast Guard Training
                                                                        Center Petaluma CA, 3d FSSG in Okinawa, USS Peleliu LHA 5,
Catholic priest in 1991 for the Diocese of Rockville Centre which
                                                                        and NSF Diego Garcia .
serves the parishes of Long Island . After eight years of parish
                                                                          His personal awards include the Joint Service Commendation
ministry he was recalled to active duty .
                                                                        Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with
  Personal decorations include: the Meritorious Service Medal(2
                                                                        Gold Star in lieu of second award, the Coast Guard Commendation
Awards), Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2 awards)                Medal with the (“O”) Operations Device, the 9-11 Medal, the Joint
and several personal awards, unit citations and awards .                Service Achievement Medal, the US Coast Guard Achievement
  Chaplain Coyle’s personal interests include American history .        Medal, the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the FMF Ribbon,
His parents Robert and Kathryn Coyle reside in Cold Spring              the Military Outstanding Volunteer Medal, and numerous unit,
Hills, NY and his sister Kathy resides in Albertson, New York .         expeditionary, deployment, and other awards .
In addition, a three year old Golden Retriever named Dudley fills         His hobbies include Military History, Church History and Art,
up any spare time .                                                     Spectator Sports, Automobiles, and Music .
Page                                                              March 007                                          Catholic Maritime News



                                                  Merchant Marine
Professional Development Column ...
                                                                           Nation of seafarers
                    2007 MENTORING AND
                    ENCOURAGEMENT                                          aims to meet maritime
                       This last weekend was the first time in ap-         By Marcus Hand
                     proximately five years that I had been aboard         Reprinted with permission from Lloyd’s List.
                     a large cargo ship . The occasion was to visit
                     one of my classmates from Kings Point, who
                     within the week will take the final step up the       When it comes to shipping in the Philippines, one single, im-
                                                                           mediate association springs to mind: the supply of seafarers .
 Capt. David Teel ladder, on the engine side of the house, and
                     sail Chief Engineer . For me this was a very          Over the past 20 years, this southeast Asian nation has grown
satisfying trip for several reasons . The first and most important         into the world’s largest supplier of seafarers, supplying in excess
reason, for the trip, was to congratulate my good friend on his            of 20% of crew for internationally trading vessels .
promotion; as I have been encouraging him to sail Chief Engi-              From a concern just a few years ago that the nation would be
neer for several years . Not everyone who begins a career at sea           eclipsed by China and other countries offering lower wages, a
can sail Captain or Chief Engineer . This is due to several reasons;       massive growth in the global fleet means that today the issue is
one reason being that not everyone is cut out to be Captain or             being able to supply enough of the right kinds of seafarers .
Chief Engineer . Also, some individuals do not want the respon-            While seafaring may be viewed as poorly paid in the West, in
sibility, headaches, and the work load that goes along with these          the Philippines, as a developing country, it represents an oppor-
jobs . Not to speak ill of my good friend, he had others reasons .         tunity to leap from poverty to a wealthy middle class lifestyle
He was afraid of being Chief Engineer . The issues that he had             in a matter of years, and as result tens of thousands train to be
were 1) what if I do not know what to do when a problem arises             seafarers every year .
in the engine room, 2) I don’t know how to do all the paperwork,           Unfortunately the vast majority of these 30,000 new recruits
and 3) I am not sure I want to sail any longer .                           every year will never even make it to sea . As the Philippines
                                                                           continues to churn out masses of ratings what the industry des-
  These are all very valid concerns and I suggest that everyone            perately needs is senior officers .
has had these types of questions and issues when thinking about            There is now a concerted effort by the leading members of the
trying to move up the ladder in the maritime industry . I know that        Philippines crewing industry to work more closely with shipown-
I had the same concerns when I took each step up the ladder to             ers to train senior officers to meet shipowners’ needs .
ultimately sail Captain . Was I as well qualified as I should have
                                                                           It is easy, though, to fall into the trap of thinking Philippines is
been or ready for each promotion? No way! But I did not shy
                                                                           just about seafarers — but this is not the case, and there are de-
away from the challenge and opportunities that came my way .
                                                                           termined efforts to grow other sectors of the industry as well .
This is the type of encouragement that I gave my friend . I am
sure that my encouragement played a key role in his becoming               In recent years, as what many view as a natural extension of its
Chief Engineer .                                                           crewing business, the Philippines has been keen to develop its
                                                                           role in the third-party shipmanagement business and there are
  If you are thinking about staying in maritime industry or taking         signs that this is now taking off .
a promotion sit down and think about the issues as I have just             Both Aboitiz Jebsen and Thome Ship Management are expanding
discussed . Or if you have a friend or know of a fellow mariner            in the shipmanagement field in the country .
that is going thru this process encourage him . Seeing someone             There is already a thriving shipbuilding and shiprepair industry
get a promotion due to ones encouragement and/or mentoring                 with yards run by Keppel and Tsuneishi Heavy Industries, the
is heartwarming . I just wish that I would have this opportunity           latter of which is currently expanding its capacity .
more often . The rewards are great for both parties and helps our          The shipbuilding segment is set to receive a huge shot in the
industry grow .                                                            arm from Hanjin Heavy Industries’ $720m investment in a
                                                                           massive yard in Subic Bay, intended to be the fourth largest in
  Feel free to e-mail me at kps77@cox .net with questions about            the world .
training, advancement, or a career at sea .
                                                                           This is also one of the most significant foreign investments made
                                                                           into the country in recent years .
  Capt . David Teel has 20 years sea service as a member of the American
                                                                           Looking at ports, homegrown International Container Terminal
Maritime Officers’ Union, including 7 years as Master in command of
tankers and Roll-on/Roll-off vessels . He was Senior Deck Instructor at    Services has proved that operating overseas ports is not the
AMO’s STAR Center and has worked for the last six years at the National    preserve of a few mega-players and continues to expand into
Maritime Center as a Marine Transportation Specialist in the Course In-    locations that, at least until the last couple of years, might have
structor Approval Branch . He is a graduate of King’s Point (USMMA)        given many others second thoughts .
and has a Masters of Quality Systems Management from the National
Graduate School .                                                                                    NATION OF SEAFARERS, Page 5
Catholic Maritime News                                           March 007                                                              Page 



                                                 Merchant Marine
Foreign Flag Crewing Practices: Executive Summary
U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Maritime Administration
  Foreign-flag Crewing Practices is a comprehensive review of
the nationalities and size of the crews of foreign-flag cargo vessels
calling at ports in the United States . Several factors influence the
nationalities of crewmembers on vessels calling at U .S . ports – the
laws of the vessel’s flag country, overall crew competencies and
training, ownership preferences,communications among crew-
members and costs . The report does not address all the variables
affecting crew size, but centers on the impact of vessel type, size,
age, and flag on crew size .
  Data was derived from the “Crew List” form completed by the
master of each vessel entering and exiting the U .S . and reported to
the U .S . Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs
and Border Protection (CBP) . The primary focus of this study is
vessel entries during 2004 . A total of 7,247 crew lists covering over
2,759 vessels and 149,327 individual crew entries from vessel visits
to U .S . ports during 2004 were included in this study .
  Crewmembers from 123 different countries were found on for-
eign-flag vessels calling at U .S . ports .                               registries but variations were observed among registries not in the
  • Only 10 nationalities made up the vast majority of crews, 77 .9       top 5 .
percent, and all are considered moderate or low cost sources of             • Tankers had a higher average crew complement across all age
crewing .                                                                 groups .
  • There is little relationship between vessel flag and nationality        Conclusions
of crewmembers employed on the vessel .                                     • We continue to believe that once freed from legal restrictions,
  • Asia, led by the Philippines (the world’s largest supplier of sea-    costs become the vessel owner’s primary determinant of the na-
farers) with 36 .6 percent of total crew entries, is the leading region   tionality of the crew complement . With few exceptions, only the
of crew supply for the U .S .-foreign trade .                             lowest cost nationalities were employed as unlicensed seafarers
  • Overall, Asian countries supplied 59 .4 percent of total crew-        in the competitive U .S . trades . Officers from developed countries
members on foreign-flag vessels .                                         still were well represented in the command positions of master and
  • Eastern European nations were the second greatest source of           chief engineer in 2004, but in lower numbers than in our previous
crewmembers at 22 .1 percent of the total .                               study from 2000 .
  • Western European nations were an important source of command            The crew nationality data appears to confirm the greater use of
officers (master & chief engineer) .                                      officers from low cost crewing centers as the supply of top officers
  • The work force evident in the U .S .-foreign trade is more fre-       from developed countries struggles to replace itself . The BIMCO/
quently from less developed nations and lower cost than the world         ISF 2005 Manpower Update provides some data supporting this
supply data found in BIMCO/ISF 2004 Manpower Update: The                  notion . According to the update, “The OECD countries (North
Worldwide Demand for and Supply of Seafarers .                            America, Western Europe, Japan, etc .) remain an important source
  • Vessel Size, Age, and Type are important variables affecting          of officers, although Eastern Europe has become increasingly
crew size .                                                               significant with a large increase in officer numbers . The Far East
  • Newer and smaller vessels had lower crew complements .                and South East Asia (the “Far East”), and the Indian sub-continent
  • Average crew size did not vary significantly among the largest        remain the largest source for ratings and are rapidly becoming a
                                                                          key source of officers .”
                                                                            While crew selection moves towards lower cost nationalities, im-
    NATION OF SEAFARERS____________ from page 4
                                                                          proved vessel design has lowered the number of seafarers necessary
All this takes place despite a backdrop of political uncertainty,         to crew the newer vessels in the fleet . However, the growth in the
religious conflict and terrorism, particularly in the south of the        sheer physical size of the new buildings may slow the movement
country .                                                                 towards smaller crew sizes in the foreseeable future .
However, despite long-running fears that President Gloria                   The dual observations of smaller crew complements and lower
Macapagal Arroyo would be overthrown in coup, she has man-                cost crewing sources will continue to assure that foreign-flag
aged to retain her hold on power, providing an important level            competitors in the U .S . trades will be minimizing crewing costs in
of stability for those keen to exploit the potential the country          the future . Therefore it appears that U .S .-flag operators competing
undoubtedly has .                                                         in the foreign trades will continue to be pressured by a large wage
                                                                          cost disadvantage .
Page 6                                                          March 007                                           Catholic Maritime News




Piracy UPdates                                                            Piracy Updates are sent in by Andrew Mwangura, Coordinator of the
                                                                        Seafarer Assistance Program, in Mombasa, Kenya.


Somali Piracy 4 April 2007:                                             Somali Piracy Update 4/10/07
  The hijacking of the MV Rozen enteres its sixth week .                  MV Rozen is underway to Mombasa and she is expected here
  Negotations are ongoing in Garowe between some Somali traders         tomorrow night . She is expected to dock at the African Marine dry
and representatives of the pirates but stuck on the way to transfer     dock so that she may under go major repair work .
any ransom, because of the recent fightings in Mogadishu which            On Thursday morning, relatives of the crew members, Sir Lankan
closed all business in the Somali capital .                             Ambassador to Kenya, Director General of the Kenya Maritime
  Latest communication with the crew reported that, circumstances       Authority, the Harbor Master, officials of the WFP and a battery
taken into consideration, everything is OK, but the crew is eager       of local and international journalists will be on hand to receive the
that their ordeal is coming to an end . Ship stores such as food and    ship and her strong 12 crew men .
water are rationed . Puntland authorities still insist that they will     The Mombasa-based ship was hijacked off Puntland on 25 Febru-
take action against the pirates .                                       ary and was released three kilometers off the Somali coastal fishing
  The UAE registered dhow the MV Nimatullah was hijacked                village of Dhigdhiley in Puntland . The hijacking made shippers
April 1 while anchored outside deep waters port of Mogadishu .          reluctant to carry cargoes to Somalia and caused delays in transport-
The 800 tons MV Nimatullah with a crew of 14 is carrying general        ing food aid to Somalia .
merchandise like clothes,cosmetics, sugar and oil for Mr Sheikh           The MV Semlow, a sister vessel of the MV Rozen, was hijacked
Saney, a Mogadishu merchant . The goods were loaded at Al-Hamria        with WFP food aid onboard in Somali waters for more than 100
port, Dubai .                                                           days in 2005 . Another WFP-contracted ship, the MV Miltzow, was
  Because of a tax dispute between businessmen and the Transi-          hijacked for 33 hours in October 2005 while it was unloading WFP
tional Federal Government of Somalia aggravated by the recent           food aid at the Somali port of Merca .
heavy fighting inside the city, no commercial vessel is entering        Somali Piracy Update 4/12/07
Mogadishu port since 26 March 2007 . (a vessel with relief cargo          MV Rozen arrived Mombasa port safely early this morning .
did, however) .                                                           It was tears of joy and laughter as the United Nations chartered
  We are further informed that another vessel just outside Mogadi-      cargo vessel MV Rozen which was held captive by Somali pirates
shu port came under attack yesterday by pirates, who disappeared        for 41 days arrived in Mombasa today with all its 12 sailors .
after port authorities dispatched a speed boat to assist the vessel .     All the sailors, six Kenyans and Six Sri Lankans, gave harrowing
Somali Piracy Update: 7 April 2007                                      tales of torture and fierce gun battles during and while in captiv-
  Reports reaching here from Somalia indicates that the MV Rozen        ity .
and MV Nimatullah have been released by Pirates .                         The ship owners, Sri Lankan Ambassador to Kenya and World
  MV Rozen is underway to Mombasa,while the MV Nimatullah is            Food Program officials were on hand to welcome the seafarers .
heading to Mogadishu to discharge her 800 tons of general cargo .       They asked for more action from the Kenyan,Somali Government
  The MV Rozen was contracted by WFP to carry 1,800 metric              and the International community to stop the piracy menace off the
tons of food aid from the Kenyan port of Mombasa to Berbera and         Somali coast .
Bossaso in northeastern Somalia . It completed its contract with WFP      MV Rozen’s captain, Wahalathanthri Pereira, who has been at sea
when it discharged its last food aid in Berbera on 22 February .        for over 20 years as a merchant mariner, has seen it all, but to him
  The Mombasa-based ship was hijacked off Puntland on 25 Febru-         the 41 day ordeal was the mother of all .
ary and was released three kilometres off the Somali coast near the       Three days into captivity , Puntland Authorities where the ves-
small seasonal fisherman’s settlement of Dhigdhiley in Puntland .       sel was being hidden by gunmen tried to rescue the 21 sailors and
Somali Piracy Update: 8 April 2007                                      the ship .However Captain Pereira says the rescue mission almost
  The MV Nimatullah has safely anchored at port Mogadishu and           turned tragic .
she is expected to discharge her 800 tons of cargo tomorrow or day        The ship owner Karim Kudrati gave thanks and praises to the
after tomorrow, before sailling back to Dubai .                         brave crew members of the ill-fated vessel .However,he said that it
  The Indian registered dhow was hijacked while awaiting clearance      is high time now for the Kenyan government to act .
to enter the port of Mogadishu .The vessel was seized by Somali           The Sri Lankan High Commisioner to Kenya HE Meelaud Keeran
pirates who were demanding ransoms ranging between $20,000              and Mr Leo van Der Velden the Deputy Country Director for World
and $50,000 .                                                           Food Program said that there is an urgent need for the regional
  The first week of April recorded piracy attacks on two other Indian   authorities and the International community to put more efforts in
dhows in Somali waters . In the afternoon of April 5th, MSV Sahiba      curbing the piracy menance off the Somali coast .
was attacked while underway off the port of Kismayo . Gunmen on           Others on hand to wellcome the seafarers were officials from the
speed boats opened fire on the vessel,but they experienced engine       Kenya Maritime Authority, ITF, Seafarers Associations, Kenya
problems, allowing the dhow time to escape .                            Maritime Police Unit, friends and relatives of the crew .
  In the evening of April 3rd, MV Nishan was attacked by gunmen
on two speed boats, who opened fire while she was anchored out-          Mike Rawlins is producing a documentary on modern
side the port of Mogadishu .The master of vessel contacted the port      piracy; it is almost finished.
authorities who sent in speed boats that thwarted the attack .           View the trailer online at www.porampo.com
Catholic Maritime News                                             March 007                                                               Page 7




 IMB piracy report notes decline in piracy
Press Release from International Chamber of Commerce -                      owners and insurers . The centre is now recognized throughout the
Commercial Crime Services                                                   maritime industry for its valuable contribution in quantifying the
London, 25 April 2007                                                       problem of world piracy and providing assistance, free of charge,
                                                                            to ships that have been attacked .
  The most recent statistics produced by the ICC International                IMB’s Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships Report for the
Maritime Bureau (IMB) indicate that the number of reported piracy           first quarter of 2007 not only lists key facts and figures, but also
attacks in the first quarter of 2007 world-wide declined significantly      analyses developments in piracy and identifies multiple piracy-prone
when compared with the same period for 2006 .                               areas so that ships can take preventive action . On a trial basis, IMB
  IMB’s Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships Report for the               is offering the report free of charge . A copy of the report can be
first quarter of 2007 cites 41 incidents of piracy in the first three       requested by logging on to www .icc-ccs .org
months of 2007 . This figure is 20 less than the 61 incidents reported        First quarter attacks may be viewed on the IMB Live Piracy Map
in the first quarter of 2006 .                                              at http://www .icc-ccs .org .uk/prc/piracy_rep_app .php
  IMB Director Captain Pottengal Mukundan stated: “Although we
remain concerned about piracy and violence against ships, we are
pleased to see that the number of reported attacks is decreasing . De-
spite this positive trend, there are a number of regions that continue
                                                                            Waiting and hoping
to be plagued by piracy, most notably Nigeria and Somalia .”                Months after ceasefire, suffering of Lebanese port
  Figures tallied in the recently released report found that the            workers continues, along with expressions of solidarity
number of attacks in Nigeria doubled when compared with the
first quarter of 2006 . The six attacks reported for the first quarter of   By Bilal Malkawi
2007 included a number of violent attacks against vessels and crew          Reprinted from Transport International Online
working in offshore oil installations . In these cases, crew members          I can still recall the port of Beirut when I visited it in 2005 – full
were both assaulted and abducted . Attacks on other vessels were            of life and the bustle of thousands of workers toiling day and night .
                                                                            I have visited the port three times since the six week conflict that
also reported in the Niger Delta region . An alarming total of 40 crew
                                                                            ravaged Lebanon in July and August 2006 . Immediately following
members were taken hostage or kidnapped in Nigeria alone .
                                                                            the ceasefire, it was largely vacant and lifeless . Even now it is far
  The situation in Somalia appears to have improved with one vessel
                                                                            from busy .
reportedly hijacked and only one other incident noted in the first            On my first visit after the ceasefire, I found many workers sitting
quarter of 2007 . The area remains very dangerous and the ongoing           around with nothing much to do but scrutinize the faces of visitors
conflict in the area makes it extremely difficult for affected parties      to the port and try to guess what the future would bring . Two port
to seek prompt and adequate assistance from onshore authorities .           workers lost their lives during the conflict, and as a direct result
IMB strongly recommends that vessels stay at least 75 nautical              of the hostilities and an ongoing Israeli blockade, 800 more lost
miles from the Somali coastline .                                           their incomes .
  In addition to detailing piracy incidents, Piracy and Armed Rob-            Of course Beirut was not the only port affected . All five of the
bery Against Ships Report for the first quarter of 2007 identifies          main ports in Lebanon have suffered disruption and job losses,
ports and anchorages more prone to violent attacks . Balongan in            with casual workers the most affected . Other transport sectors also
Indonesia, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Lagos in Nigeria were              suffered from the blockades, which were lifted in September fol-
highlighted as ports frequently targeted by pirates .                       lowing protests by ITF unions and other groups .
  Reported incidents of piracy dropped significantly in South East            “Two port workers lost their lives during the conflict, and as a
Asia . Indonesia recorded nine incidents, down dramatically from            direct result of the hostilities and an ongoing Israeli blockade, 800
19 last year . Two incidents were recorded in the Malacca Straits .         more lost their incomes”
This area now represents an excellent example of how cooperation              The lifting of the blockades allowed only 300 out of 1000 casual
between authorities can tackle and suppress piracy attacks . There          dockers to regain their jobs . Unlike the permanent employees who
was also notable improvement in Bangladesh with only two reported           have lost work, the government is not giving financial support to
incidents compared to nine in the last quarter of 2006 .                    the casual workers, who were hired on a daily basis . These work-
  Captain Mukundan noted: “In order to maintain positive develop-           ers, along with the families of the deceased workers, have been
ments like those found in South East Asia, it is imperative that the        beneficiaries of a fund set up by the seafarers and ports unions to
                                                                            help them survive until sufficient business is back in the port for
local governments continue to devote sufficient resources to the
                                                                            them to stand a realistic change of regaining work .
problem . It is also very important that all incidents be reported to
                                                                              I have made repeat visits to Lebanon to distribute lump sum do-
IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre . Reporting piracy attacks triggers
                                                                            nations which have been made by the ITF and its affiliates, includ-
effective law enforcement and medical assistance responses and              ing our Nordic unions, the German union ver .di, the International
maintains a permanent record of all piracy attacks .”                       Longshore and Warehouse Union of the US and Zenkoku Kowan
  IMB’s Kuala Lumpur based Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC)                    in Japan, as well as the British national centre, the Trade Union
is the only centre of its kind in the world . It remains the only           Congress .
agency providing round the clock reporting of incidents worldwide .
The work of PRC is funded by 22 organizations including ship                                                                   BEIRUT, Page 8
Page                                                            March 007                                              Catholic Maritime News



                        Port Ministry
AOS-USA Helps Gulf Fishermen Cruise Ship Priests Being
Affected by 2005 Hurricanes    Appointed AOS Chaplains
By Fr. Sinclair Oubre, AOS USA President
                                                                         By Fr. Sinclair Oubre, AOS USA President
  The hurricane season of 2005, will go down in history as one of the
                                                                           During March, I hunkered down, and began organizing my
most devastating seasons in the history of Gulf fishing . Hurricanes
                                                                         thoughts for my presentation at the World Congress as part of the
Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma all pounded fishing villages, boats,
docks, icehouses and equipment .                                         Cruise Ship Ministry Panel .
  After Hurricane Katrina and Rita, a number of individuals and            Part of my talk centered on reviewing the motu proprio Stella
organizations contacted AOS-USA asking how they could help, and          Maris in light of the growing Catholic cruise ship ministry .
sending donations for AOS-USA to distribute to those in need . Of          First, it was such a surprise that ten years have now passed since
these gifts, AOS-Poland sent $2,000, and the Gulf Coast Mariners         our beloved Pope John Paul II promulgated this preeminent mari-
Education Fund donated $1,200 .                                          time ministry document on January 31, 1997 .
  AOS-USA investigated a number of possible avenues to use the             Second, it reminded me that AOS chaplains have special facul-
$5,000 funds in the most effective way . Through the assistance          ties on passenger ships when they are properly appointed by their
of a committee chaired by AOS-USA treasurer, Deacon Patrick              competent authorities . Title III, VII, §1 states:
LaPoint, ten fishing families from Cameron, Louisiana and Bayou            “VII . §1 . The chaplain of the Apostleship of the Sea who is des-
La Batre, Alabama each received grants to help with family needs         ignated by the competent authority to exercise his ministry during
and fishing equipment .                                                  voyages on board ship is obliged to offer spiritual assistance to all
  On March 25, 2006, Fr . Sinclair Oubre, AOS-USA president,             who are making the voyage, whether by sea, lake or river, from the
Deacon Patrick LaPoint, AOS-USA treasurer, and Miss Doreen               start of the trip until its conclusion .”
Badeaux, AOS-USA secretary-general, joined together with the               Presently, eight of our cruise ship priests are also AOS chaplains .
eight Cameron families for the presentation of the $4,000 before         The letter they receive for cruise ship ministry acts as their “desig-
the statue of Our Lady Star of the Sea statue in Cameron, Louisi-        nation by the competent authority .” However, we will be looking
ana . The Catholic church still wore the scars of Hurricane Rita’s       at the model letter to make this designation more clear .
devastating storm surge .                                                  I do think that our cruise ship priests who spend more than 30-
  For a number of the families, the grants arrived at an important       days a year on cruise ships should consider becoming designated
time . Shifting to oystering when shrimping season was closed, these
                                                                         as AOS chaplains, and receiving the special designation needed to
families were wondering how they were going to make the next few
                                                                         have the faculties for ministry on passenger ships . These faculties
months because of a ruptured sewage line in Sulphur, Louisiana .
                                                                         provide faculties for confirmation, matrimony and additional Masses
  For more than a week, the effluence flowed into the local bay-
ous, but with the change in weather and wind, the sewage had now         as needed during the Triduum .
flowed into the oyster beds .                                              If you are interested, or if you have questions about how to go
  Only the day before, the State of Louisiana had closed oystering,      about receiving designation as an AOS chaplain designated to have
and the families were not sure how they would make ends meet             the special faculties for passenger and crewmembers on cruise ships,
until the shrimping season would open again in May .                     please contact me or our secretary general for more information .
  After the check presentation, AOS-USA’s representatives assured
the Cameron families of their continued prayers and support .

            BEIRUT________________________________________________________________________ from page 7
  At the time of writing, business remained slow and much reduced .        “I know that 4 .5 million transport workers have offered me and my
Lebanon is still classified as a war zone and so ships stopping at the   family their condolences and I am deeply thankful to God for this
ports are charged prohibitively high insurance . Most of the traffic     attitude and common language that workers speak worldwide .”
has therefore been diverted to Syria and Cyprus and it is hard to          Tens of workers then followed to receive the donation money,
say when it will return .                                                emphasising that while they appreciated the small amount we have
  On my first visit in August, I was proud to be introduced to union     been able to give them, what has meant even more is the knowledge
members by the president of the Seafarers Union, Mr Naser Nazzal,        that they have had the support and solidarity of their fellow workers
as an ITF representative conveying the greetings of port peers and       during this crisis .
other transport workers from around the world .                            They signed a Lebanese flag and asked me to present it to the ITF
  Everyone was eager to participate in our discussions . Some            in London . In the midst of all the suffering, it is heartening for those
sounded strong and steadfast, others bewildered, unable to grasp         of us in the Arab region to see that transport workers worldwide
why this was happening to them .                                         have become more united and understanding about what affects
  When I returned with aid and support for the suffering workers         their peers in this part of the world . In return, the transport workers
I relayed to them the support and sympathy of transport workers          of this region have developed a strong feeling of being part of the
worldwide . The father of one of the deceased workers approached         global ITF family .
and said:                                                                  Bilal Malkawi is head of the ITF Arab Office in Amman.
Catholic Maritime News                                            March 007                                                              Page 



                                                        Cruise News
  The Hellenic Cruise Ship Sea Diamond sank off the coast of
Greece earlier this month. AOS USA Board Secretary, Fr. William            Sea Diamond master
Reynolds, sent word to the office from information he received:
  “My faith formation director’s mother called her on her cell
phone that she is on this ship which is sinking and they are being
                                                                           charged with negligence
evacuated now, getting on lifeboats . Things apparently were not in        By Nigel Lowry in Athens
a state of chaos .”                                                        Sunday, 8 April
                                                                           Reprinted with permission from Lloyd’s List

Passengers flee grounded                                                     THE master of Greek cruiseship Sea Diamond has been charged
                                                                           with negligence following the ship’s sinking off the coast of San-
cruiseship in Aegean Sea                                                   torini .
                                                                             The Associated Press said a Greek Merchant Marine Ministry
By Nigel Lowry in Athens
                                                                           official confirmed the master’s arrest but not a report by state tele-
Thursday, 5 April
                                                                           vision that five other officers were also charged .
Reprinted with permission from Lloyd’s List
                                                                             Two passengers remained missing on Friday after Sea Diamond
                                                                           sank in deep water off the Aegean island of Santorini . The 21 year
  ABOUT 1,200 passengers from North America and Europe had
                                                                           old Louis Hellenic Cruises ship hit a reef on Thursday afternoon
an Easter cruise of the Aegean scarily interrupted this afternoon
                                                                           just half a mile offshore as it approached the island’s port .
when their vessel, the 22,400 gt Sea Diamond ran aground just half
                                                                             In a three-hour operation about 1,600 passengers and crew were
a mile off the dockside of Santorini island .
                                                                                            safely evacuated from the listing cruise liner and by
  Emergency services, includ-
                                                                                            early evening local officials as well as representa-
ing the Greek coast guard,
                                                                                            tives of the cruise line were declaring the situation
navy and airforce mobilised
                                                                                            was “under control .” However, the vessel appears to
as the cruise liner listed by 12
                                                                                            have been taking on water from a breach in the hull,
degrees .
                                                                                            and the lurch worsened during the evening .
  Some eye witnesses estimated
                                                                                              About 11:30 pm, Louis issued a statement say-
a 30-degree lurch but this was
                                                                                            ing that a French tour party had reported two of
contradicted by the operating
                                                                                            its members missing . A 45-year-old man and his
company, Louis Hellenic Cruis-
                                                                                            teenage daughter, reportedly occupying a four-berth
es, part of the wider Cyprus
                                                                                            cabin in the region of the ship that came into contact
based Louis cruise and hotels
                                                                                            with the reef, were unaccounted for .
and tourism services group .
                                                                                              Despite a last-ditch attempt by Greek divers to
  By late afternoon, more than
                                                                           search the flooded wreck, the pair were still missing when the
half the passengers had been evacuated onto a local ferry small
                                                                           22,400 gt cruise ship slipped beneath the waves in the early hours
enough to shuttle them to land . Passengers talking to Greek tv
                                                                           of Friday morning .
stations from their mobile phones had earlier spoken of panic and
                                                                             Louis confirmed that all other passengers on the five-day Easter
chaos on board but this was denied by the cruise line .
                                                                           cruise were accounted for and safe . They were returned to Piraeus
  Michalis Marathreftis, a Louis spokesman, said, “Everyone is safe,
                                                                           aboard one of the company’s other vessels: the 16,700 gt Perla, and
there are no injuries and the vessel has stabilised . I want to reassure
                                                                           another passenger ship, the Aegean II .
everyone that there is no danger and the situation has immediately
                                                                             Most of the passengers were from North America and Europe .
been brought under control,” he said .
                                                                             In a statement on Friday, Louis Hellenic, which is part of the
  Officials at the ministry of merchant marine also confirmed no-
                                                                           Cyprus based cruise, hotels and tourism services Louis Group,
one was hurt in the incident .
                                                                           said its primary concern was to establish the fate of the two miss-
  The 21 year old Sea Diamond was bought last year by Louis as
                                                                           ing passengers as well as repatriating the other passengers in the
the Birka Pricess from Birka Cruises for $35m and already had one
                                                                           best way possible .
uneventful cruising season under its belt for its new owners . Louis
                                                                             It said that the vessel “met the highest safety standards and was
has said it gave ship a $10m upgrade before starting its new career
                                                                           equipped with the latest navigation systems .”
in Greece, including adding a new deck .
                                                                             The company added that it was cooperating closely with the au-
  Mr Marathreftis said the company had already despatched an-
                                                                           thorities “to fully investigate the causes of this accident .”
other of its ships, the 16,700 gt Perla, to pick up the passengers
                                                                             Also on Thursday, in a completely unrelated incident in Greek
and complete their cruise .
                                                                           waters, a Filipino seaman was killed and three other crew members
  The Sea Diamond had embarked on a five day cruise on Monday
                                                                           injured in a lifeboat drill accident aboard the cruise ship Astoria .
and had been scheduled to return to Piraeus tomorrow . It was also
                                                                             The vessel was berthed in the port of Corfu when the accident
carrying some 300 crew .
                                                                           took place .
Page 10                                                          March 007                                            Catholic Maritime News



                                                       Cruise News
Princess Cruises on NCL to remove Pride
board with AOSUSA of Hawaii from Hawaii
  After a lengthy discussion process, Princess Cruises contacted         By Sandra Speares - Wednesday 11 April 2007
AOS USA in early April to sign on with the Cruise Ship Priest              NORWEGIAN Cruise Line is withdrawing the Pride of Hawaii
Program .                                                                from the Hawaii market from next year citing downward pricing
  Princess joins three other cruise lines in utilizing the program to    pressure and foreign flag competition as the reasons behind the
staff cruises with priests to serve passengers and crew members . The    redeployment .
other cruise lines are Celebrity, Norwegian and Holland America .          The Star Cruises subsidiary described the move as temporary
  AOS USA General Secretary Doreen Badeaux was pleased                   and said that the Pride of Hawaii will be redeployed in Europe
with the prompt willingness of Cruise Ship Priests to respond to         for summer 2008 . Downward pricing pressure was blamed for the
requests at that time for priests to serve on Princess cruises for       “substantial” losses NCL reported in February . NCL reported a net
Holy Week .                                                              loss of $130 .9m for the year ending December 31, 2006 compared
  “We were able to fill three Easter cruise openings for them that       to a net income of $16 .2m for the previous year .
evening, which I believe impressed them significantly,” she said .         Other contributory factors were payroll and related costs, fuel
“We must give credit to our Cruise Ship Priests who were willing         expenses, interest costs and non cash foreign exchange translation
to re-arrange their schedules at such short notice .”                    losses . The NCL America brand of three ships, including Pride of
  “Let us continue to pray that other cruise lines will come on board,   Hawaii is flagged and crewed in the US, which means NCL can
so that we can ensure valid priests in good standing on board, with      operate inter-island cruises without having to visit a port outside
access to crew members for pastoral care,” she said .                    Hawaii, which other operators have to do . However operating with
                                                                         a US crew has led to a higher wage bill on board NCL America
Carnival Plans New Terminal                                              ships .
  Carnival Corporation has signed an agreement to build and operate        NCL chief executive Colin Veitch said that while NCL America
a cruise terminal on the Honduran island of Roatan .                     had grown very quickly in the last three years, competition from
  Development of “Mahogany Bay - Roatan” - is expected to                foreign flag ships had also surged ahead “offering almost 80%
start in fall 2007 and be completed by summer 2009 at a cost of          additional capacity days on top of NCL America’s in 2007” . Ac-
$50 million . The cruise facility will be situated on 20 acres on the    cording to Mr Veitch “we are victims of our own success . We have
Roatan waterfront and will consist of a two-berth cruise terminal        demonstrated that Hawaii is a highly attractive cruise destination,
capable of accommodating super post-Panamax vessels and up to            and Hawaii now has four times as much capacity serving it in 2007
7,000 passengers daily . Within five years of operation, “Mahogany       as it did in 2004 when we started NCL America .”
Bay - Roatan” is expected to host 225 cruise ship calls and 500,000        While Mr Veitch regretted the need to pull Pride of Hawaii out of
passengers annually .                                                    the Hawaii market, NCL remained committed to building a strong
  The island is currently featured on the western Caribbean itiner-      US flag cruise business homeported there, he said .
aries of the corporation’s brand companies Carnival Cruise Lines,          “We are now very hopeful that this latest measure will make the
Holland America, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises, and P&O                critical difference in ensuring the success of this important venture .
Cruises . The Roatan project continues Carnival’s efforts at devel-      We continue to have a vision of a strong domestic cruise industry
oping Caribbean ports to provide consumers with an even greater          in Hawaii and firmly believe that the combination of steps we have
variety of destination choices within the region . These include the     now taken will result in a strong NCL America delivering the best
new Grand Turk Cruise Center, which in its first year in operation       cruise itinerary anywhere in the world with the very highest standard
hosted nearly 300,000 passengers .                                       of service at sea .”

Royal Caribbean Orders New Ship                                          to Aker Yards, the second ship order means a further 5,800 man
By Sandra Speares Tuesday 3 April 2007                                   years of work for the yard .
                                                                           According to Yrjo Julin, president of Aker Yard, Cruise and Fer-
  CRUISE line Royal Caribbean has ordered a second -900m                 ries: “Genesis is a big challenge for us, when it comes to size and
($1 .2bn) ship in the 220,000 gt Genesis class from Aker Yards .         complexity in the numerous technical innovations . But we are well
  The new 5,400 passenger vessel is due for delivery in August           prepared and enthusiastic when taking on this challenge .”
2010 . Royal Caribbean estimates that the all in cost of the ship will     Royal Caribbean is due to take delivery of the latest in its Free-
be about $260,000 per berth .                                            dom class cruise ships, Liberty of the Seas, later this month, the
  The new ship will be the 24th in the company’s fleet, which, with      second in a series of three, which are currently the largest ships in
subsidiaries Celebrity and Pullmantur, has a combined fleet of 34        the world .
ships in service with six under construction .                             The Genesis class ships will be 43% larger with a length of 360 m,
  The first Genesis class ship is due for delivery in 2009 . According   47 m across the beam and with 8,400 passengers and crew .
Catholic Maritime News                                           March 007                                                             Page 11




Traveling padre calls Casa de Padres
By Carol Baass Sowa                                                       he celebrated his
                                                                          71st birthday, 45th
Reprinted with permission from Today’s Catholic (newspaper for            anniversary as a
the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Texas)                                    priest and his re-
   A visit to Msgr . Pablo Sicilia’s retirement residence at Casa de      tirement in a com-
Padres is like a trip around the world, filled with memorabilia of the    bined celebration .
places he has visited or lived in — a shelf-size replica of a Slovakian      Over the years,
road shrine made from corn husks; a scaled down, hand-carved              he has enjoyed op-
totem pole from Alaska; a Bolivian bedspread across which woven           portunities to trav-
llamas and Inca messengers traipse .                                      el and a world map
   There are Mexican calaveras figures and a collection of Don            studded with push-
Quixotes, a natural result of the monsignor’s many years as a scholar     pins chronicles just
and professor of Spanish . Other objects relate to his love of opera,     how far . Pins blan-
along with numerous books and photographs .                               ket Europe and the
   Growing up in Kensington, Penn ., with a mother whose roots            Americas . He has
were Slovakian and a father of Italian ancestry, young Paul Sicilia       godchildren in
hardly seemed a candidate for a Hispanic ministry . It was his Ital-      Mexico and Ec-
ian immigrant grandmother, however, who laid the foundation for           uador and has said
his future work as a Spanish-speaking priest in South Texas and           Mass in Father Da-
his world travels .                                                       mien’s church in         Msgr. Pablo Sicilia’s kitchen table at Casa
   She spoke only Italian and, since she looked after the young Paul      Molokai . His sole       de Padres holds mementos from Slovakia,
while his mother worked, the two developed an especially close rela-      African pin marks          Bolivia, Mexico, Morocco and Ecuador.
tionship . As a child, he would read to “Nonna” from an Italian Bible     Morocco and he has also visited the Holy Land, Russia and Iran
and Lives of the Saints and the two would listen to scratchy LPs of       (“Before the Ayatollah took over,” he notes .) When interviewed, a
Italian opera, of which his grandmother was especially fond .             push pin was soon to be added to Australia .
   “I learned Italian from her,” said Msgr . Sicilia, “and then it made      In 2004, he made a pilgrimage to sites of the Central American
it easier to learn Spanish when I went to Mexico, right after I was       martyrs . This included visiting the spot where Father Rutilio Grande
ordained .”                                                               (with whom he had studied in 1972 at the Pastoral Institute in Quito,
   Ordained in Ohio in 1960, he attended the Pontifical College           Ecuador) was killed and concelebrating Mass at the altar where
Josephinum in Columbus, a school originally founded to provide            Archbishop Oscar Romero was murdered .
German-speaking priests for the large influx of German immi-                 In Dilley, he was responsible for the parish’s adopting a church
grants during the latter part of the 19th century . When the need to      in Quito as a sister parish, through a nun who had been a classmate
produce Spanish-speaking priests became apparent, Msgr . Sicilia          of his at the Pastoral Institute . Another classmate nun from those
volunteered and was sent to the Universidad Nacional Autonoma             days is involved in a handicraft cooperative in Bolivia to assist the
de Mexico in Mexico City to study Spanish and return to start a           people, and Msgr . Sicilia helps them market their work here .
Spanish program at the Josephinum, one of the first such programs            His travels have also taken him on journeys to his Italian and
in the United States .                                                    Slovakian roots . He had long delved into his Italian ancestry and
   He taught Spanish at the Josephinum for 13 years, later receiv-        has visited his father’s family home in Rogliano in the region of
ing an outstanding alumni award for establishing their Spanish            Calabria (located in the toe of Italy’s boot), as well as traveling
program .                                                                 throughout Italy .
   Following his teaching at the Josephinum, he served as pastor             He only recently began to explore his mother’s Slovakian roots .
for a year at a church in Pennsylvania, then asked his bishop for a       In the process, he got to know distant relatives living there . “Be-
transfer to San Antonio . Here he had two old friends, Archbishop         fore, I felt like 95 percent Italian,” he says . “So it kind of evened
Patrick F . Flores and Father Virgil Elizondo, whom he had known          things out .” He spent several weeks in Bratislava, the capital of
since the ’70s through his membership in the Mexican American             Slovakia, studying the language and culture . One of his future
priests’ association . “They’re the two main reasons why I picked         projects includes a return trip to visit with family and really learn
San Antonio rather than, say, Santa Fe,” he said .                        the language .
   In San Antonio, he first worked at the Mexican American Cultural          Since his retirement, Msgr . Sicilia travels the archdiocese filling
Center (MACC) as Latin American Missionary Program Coordina-              in where needed with occasional travel jaunts for pleasure and
tor for a year and half, then served as parochial vicar at St . Philip    learning . Looking over the memorabilia and souvenirs that adorn
of Jesus Church from 1976 to 1981 and as pastor at Holy Family            the walls, table tops and shelves in his Casa de Padres duplex recalls
Church from 1981 to 1986 . From 1986 to 1998, he served as pastor at      for him the many wonderful people he has known and happy times
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Carrizo Springs, which was then           shared during his years in the priesthood .
still part of the Archdiocese of San Antonio . His final assignment          “I’ve enjoyed being a priest,” he says thoughtfully . “I would do
was pastor of St . Joseph Church in Dilley from 1998 to 2005, where       it over again .”
Apostleship of the Sea USA                                                                                        Non-Profit Org .
USCCB                                                                                                              U .S . Postage
1500 Jefferson Drive                                                                                                   PAID
Port Arthur, TX 77642-0646                                                                                        Beaumont, TX
                                                                                                                  Permit No . 503
RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED




Upcoming Events For Maritime Ministry
May 22, 2007 United States National Maritime Day &
USCCB National Day of Remembrance and Prayer for
Seafarers
June 24-29, 2007 AOS World Congress - Gdynia, Poland
July 8, 2007 Sea Sunday
September 27, 2007 IMO’s World Maritime Day
November 21, 2007 World Fisheries Day
January 4, 2008 Feast Day of St . Elizabeth Ann Seton, Patron
Saint for the US Merchant Marine



Catholic Maritime News                                       April 007                                                  Vol. 64, No. 4



                                                                                         April 17, 2007
  Dear Friends,

   The National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea is designated on May 22 by the United
 States Conference of Catholic Bishops in November 2005. May 22nd also corresponds with the National Maritime Day in the
 United States of America, celebrated for the last 64 years, through ceremonies and remembrances throughout the United States
 in remembrance of mariners.

   We encourage everyone on this designated National Day of Prayer for all Catholics to support and participate in prayer
 services and remembrance, whether in the local port, the parish, or the arch/diocese especially where there is a local maritime
 community.

   We recognize the service, hard work and sacrifices of mariners and the people of the sea, and we are grateful for their contribu-
 tion to economic progress and maritime safety. In them we see the face of Christ and we thank for the opportunity and privilege
 to serve. We also acknowledge the men and women in the port chaplaincies for their dedication and passion to bring the Good
 News to the mariners and the people of the sea and to extend assistance in many ways.

  Let us stand in solidarity with the mariners and the people of the sea through this National Day of Prayer and
 Remembrance.

  Gratefully yours in Christ,

  Sr. Myrna Tordillo, mscs
  National Director

				
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