One of the more unique ministries in the Archdiocese of Seattle is a joint ministry with the Episcopalian and Lutheran churches. Our Seafarer Ministry serves the men and women who serve as crew members on the vast amount of ship traffic that carries much of the day-to-day goods we consume.
In August, the Seafarer Ministry moved into new offices along the Duwamish River and the Puget Sound, which is home to the Port of Seattle. Today, we gathered for prayer to bless the new Seafarer Ministry center. The ministry also serves the Ports of Tacoma and Everett.
We have a dedicated group of men and women who serve in this ministry. Deacon Joey DeLeon in the interim executive Director and Julia Cooper (not present today) is the Assistant Director. Dave Stockert is the board chairman, Joe Cotton another board member as well as Director of Pastoral Care and Outreach for the Archdiocese. Also present today were Amanda Zilke, Admin. Coord. in support of Seafarers ministry, Emily Dudek, intern and Fr. Mac Murray, and Episcopal Priest.
After our team of ministers briefed me on their work, we headed out to board a ship, the KM Fukuyama that was docked along the port grain elevators filling their hold with soybeans for a trip to China. The Captain and crew are all from the Philippines, and mostly Catholic, and they gladly welcomed us aboard for a visit.
Most of the crew are under contract for a nine month tour of duty – all of which is spent at sea. So, one can begin to see why ministry to this group of mostly unseen men and women is so important. We had an opportunity to visit some of the crew, hold a Communion Service, and bless the pilot house of the ship, along with a few other ‘special requests’. I’m sure they would all appreciate your prayers for them!
I’m very grateful to all those who care for and support these dedicated workers.
You can find below a video produced earlier this month about the Seattle Seafarer Ministry. Special thanks to Amanda Zilke and Joe Cotton for the photos!