The Reverend Jason Zuidema, the new Executive Director of ICMA member the North American Maritime Ministry Association (NAMMA) took time our from a holiday in Europe to meet Father Bruno Ciceri and his team. Father Bruno is Head of Apostleship of the Sea International situated in the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People at the Holy See, Vatican, Rome. Ecumenical working was on the agenda.
NAMMA Notes reported that Zuidema also met Fr. Gabriele Bentoglio, Under-Secretary of the Pontifical Conuncil, then Mgr. Joseph Kalathiparambil, Secretary, and finally Antonio Maria Cardinal Veglio, President.
All of them strongly encouraged the work of ministries to seafarers and encouraged NAMMA in its work together. Fr. Ciceri was most encouraging and a delightful lunch companion. We had a long and in-depth conversation about strategic opportunities for AOS, ICMA, and NAMMA. Though much was just to get to know each other personally, there were a number of topics that we hope can be useful for common work in future conversations like those the participants will have our conference in August.
Jason was encouraged to see individual ministries and ministry orders thinking creatively and facing the hard questions we all face with humility and courage. Specifically, he thought about encouragement as we plan for the coming NAMMA conference. Know that we are not alone and that common work together is worth the work. Actually, Fr. Ciceri brought it home in a memorable way. He said, “if we bring nothing to the NAMMA or ICMA table, we will get nothing from the table.”
Mr. Koji Sekimizu, Secretary–General of the United Nations’ International Maritime Organisation (IMO), last week visited seafarers on ships at Tilbury in London. Mr. Sekimizu was joined by chaplains from ICMA’s members who operate in Tilbury.
The ship visitors spent time listening to the crew who shared their experiences of life at sea.
Mr. Sekimizu also heard from Deacon Paul Glock, port chaplain of the Apostleship of the Sea in Tilbury, how Paul supports seafarers from day to day.
ICMA’s members appreciate the Secretary General’s personal interest in seafarers and his understanding of the work that the faith-based missions do in ports to support seafarers.
Doreen M. Badeaux, AOS-USA Secretary General has paid a moving tribute to Deacon Albert Dacanay, Canada-based Regional Coordinator of Apostleship of the Sea for North America and the Caribbean. Albert will soon be leaving the AOS Ministry for other duties in his Diocese.
Deacon Albert Dacanay and his wife Delia, his kids, his in-laws, the entire family in fact, have been a part of his ministry to Seafarers for many years now.
I met Deacon Albert around 1995 or 1996 at a North American Maritime Ministry Association (NAMMA) Conference. Later, we served together on the NAMMA Board and that is when I really got to know him and learned just how talented he was. He brought technological skills to the table, and created NAMMA’s first website. However, what I recognized the most at that time, was that he was a Maritime Minister who really did the hard work of a dedicated Port Chaplain. And, he had an inner calmness and spirituality that enabled him to work with everyone and to help ease tensions whenever difficulties arose.
Later, when he became the National Director for AOS Canada, I knew they had found a great leader. He went on to become the Regional Coordinator for AOS North America and the Caribbean. Though this is a position that has no funding, he took it on, and has spent a great deal of his personal funds to accomplish the goals of AOS North America.
Doreen speaks warmly of how Albert consulted and listened and advised wisely, smoothing over the difficulties that arise when change occurs. She witnesses to to his calming intercession:
There was one challenging meeting where Deacon Albert consoled and reassured me by saying “Don’t worry. Delia and I have been praying for the Peace of Christ to be present at this meeting.” Then the day of the meeting came. I got up to speak, and the moment I did, I felt utter calm. The meeting went smoothly and I knew that it was the Peace of Christ which had truly entered the room that day. There was no other explanation. I had never experienced that Peace of Christ in such a real way. I learned that it is very real, and I learned that from Deacon Albert and his wife Delia.
I’ve thought about that many times since, and have learned to truly pray for the Peace of Christ, for myself, and for others. So today, I would like to ask each of you to join me in prayer. Pray that the Peace of Christ will be with Deacon Albert and Delia Dacanay as they start a new journey.
ICMA most certainly joins Doreen in her prayers for the Dacanays.