Category Archives: News

Featured ministry: Rio de Janeiro

Cristo RedentorIn the famous city on Brazil’s South Atlantic coast, visiting seafarers are welcome in the Stella Maris Centre. The centre is run by port chaplain Fr Cesare Ciceri and his assistants Elsa and Rogeiro of ICMA society Apostleship of the Sea (AOS).

Around 100 seafarers visit the centre every month. Fr Cesare has a good relationship with the port authorities. This enables him to visit general cargo ships in the state-owned port and the ships in the private container port. Port bus drivers give seafarers leaflets about the centre.

Fr Cesare Ciceri
Fr Cesare Ciceri

The AOS team has operated the seafarers’ centre for two years. The location, inside the port, means that seafarers are safe from the drug-traffickers notoriously powerful in parts of Rio. Facilities at the centre include Internet and VOIP telephones. Books, games and a television are available for relaxation.

Time in port is limited. But after weeks at sea, an excursion on land provides a welcome change. Fr Cesare and the team often bring seafarers to visit the famous Cristo Redentor statue that stands high above the city on Corcovada Hill. It is a site particularly loved by Filipino and African seafarers. Continue reading Featured ministry: Rio de Janeiro

ICMA world conference 2011

The ICMA Hamburg World Conference Committee has met for the first time to begin planning our great event in 2011.

Members of the ICMA world conference planning committee
Members of the ICMA world conference planning committee

During the last week of August an enthusiastic group of people, set upon hosting the ICMA World Conference in 2011, met for the first time in Hamburg, Germany. The meeting was convened by Pastorin Heike Speigelberg. Joining the group were, among others, the Reverend Heike Proske, Secretary General of the Deutsche Seemannsmission, the ICMA General Secretary, Hennie la Grange, and his predecessor Dr Juergen Kanz.

Continue reading ICMA world conference 2011

ICMA members responding to piracy

Both the retiring Chairman of ICMA and his successor come from organisations which are working to assist seafarers affected by piracy.

Past and present leaders of the Deutsche Seemannsmission on the retirement of Hero Feenders
Past and present leaders of the Deutsche Seemannsmission on the retirement of Hero Feenders

Shortly before his retirement, in June 2009, Reverend Hero Feenders initiated the response of the Deutsche Seemannsmission to maritime piracy. Launching a programme called Piraten: Bedrohung auf See (Piracy: Threat at Sea), he said

“We cannot but react when we see the lives of seafarers disrupted [by piracy] while little is done to deal with the trauma seafarers suffer as a result”.

Continue reading ICMA members responding to piracy

ICMA ties and scarves

The newly designed ICMA ties and scarves are now available.

ICMA Chairman, Douglas B Stevenson, and the Reverend Heike Proske model the new scarf and tie on the photograph.

The new tie and scarf was developed as a result of the 2008-Consultative Forum’s request that the ICMA brand should be promoted.

Douglas Stevenson took the initiative. A New York based designer, Holly Stevenson, designed the new livery.   Reverend Sakari Lehmuskallio helped to develop the final product, and Reverend Martina Platte assisted in production.

The new tie and scarf will be available at all ICMA events at 10 Euro each.

The ICMA tie and scarf modelled by Mr Doug Stevenson and Rev Heike Proske
The ICMA tie and scarf modelled by Mr Douglas B. Stevenson and Rev Heike Proske

ICMA at IMHA

ICMA General Secretary Rev Hennie La Grange attended the 10th International Symposium on Maritime Health in Goa, India at the end of September. The event was organised by the International Maritime Health Association (IMHA). The theme was “Quality maritime health and seafarers’ welfare”.

From left to right: Ruben Paul, Ranjith Ratikant, Manoj Joy, Hennie La Grange, Simon Dharmaraj, Anthony Baliswamy, Paul Birla in Goa.
From left to right: Ruben Paul, Ranjith Ratikant, Manoj Joy, Hennie La Grange, Simon Dharmaraj, Anthony Baliswamy, and Abraham Vinaylal Bengara in Goa.

The event was attended by delegates from maritime organisations including the ITF, IMO, and ILO and by representatives of ship owners and national maritime authorities. While in Goa, Rev La Grange attended an informal meeting of port chaplains and welfare workers of various ICMA member organisations in India. Together they pledged closer ecumenical co-operation for the benefit of seafarers. Fr Anthony Baliswamy was chosen to organise communications among the group. Continue reading ICMA at IMHA

Featured ministry: Yokohama

Association for Seafarers' Mission JapanRev Lamberto Valino talks about the work of ICMA member the Association for Seafarers’ Mission in Japan. Rev Valino and his wife Angelita, who are originally from the Philippines, work together in the port of Yokohama.

Angelita and Lamberto Valino
Angelita and Lamberto Valino

We have been supporting the mission to foreign seafarers in Kanagawa, Japan, since September 2001. We have spent eight years plying in and out of the ports around Yokohama. We go onboard the ships regularly to find out about the work of seafarers. Their stories bear remarkable similarities: loneliness, friendship, finance, concern for their family’s future. Seafaring is a job that is physically and emotionally strenuous. Continue reading Featured ministry: Yokohama

Historic moment in Brazil

The ICMA Consultation which took place in Vitoria in November 2008 was an historic moment for ecumenism in Brazil. ICMA members reached an agreement on working together for seafarers. In future, maritime ministry in Brazil will be managed by an ecumenical committee representing all the ICMA members active in the region.

Delegates at the ICMA consultation in Vitoria
Delegates at the ICMA consultation in Vitoria

The agreement is the result of a long period of negotiation. This was brokered by Mr Douglas B. Stevenson, Director of Policy, Advocacy & Law of the Seamen’s Church Institute in New York, a co-opted member of ICMA.

Further meetings of the Brazil Committee will be held in 2009 with a regional conference planned for February 2010. The ICMA Executive Committee will be asked to consider accepting Brazil as an administrative region in its own right. This is due to the vastness of the country and its linguistic differences with its neighbours.