The Isle of Man Ship Register became the first flag state to broadcast a mass directly to the crew on board its ships.
Isle of Man Ship Registry Director Cameron Mitchell said the masses were made possible through his new seafarer welfare app ‘Crew Matters’, which was developed in partnership with the training company Tapiit Live, based in Liverpool.
The app allowed Mass to be streamed live from a church in Manila, Philippines with technical support from the UK Tapiit team. Mass was held by Father Paulo Prigol, chaplain of Stella Maris-Manila, who is one of the Scalabrinian missionaries who are responsible for the welfare of seafarers.
Mr Mitchell said the mass was a success and that the registry plans to hold a mass every weekend that will be accessible to all the Catholic crew among the 10,000 sailors and 400 ships sailing under its flag.
“With several thousand Filipino crew members, we know how important their faith is to them and that the organization of Masses would be welcome,” he said. “Stella Maris really supports the app by helping to organize the masses with Tapiit. We all recognize the brilliant work seafarer charities like Stella Maris are doing in port, the key now is to harness technology to extend this care to seafarers at sea. The well-being of seafarers has never received more attention than today, due to Covid and the crew change crisis. Offering masses and church services is just one way we can use the app to make a positive difference. We are now preparing for more Masses at Easter. “
Mr Mitchell said the ultimate goal will be to provide religious services to seafarers of all faiths and denominations where there is demand.
Ian Stokes, Head of Corporate Engagement and Partnerships at Stella Maris, said: “Faith is a very important part of the lives of many sailors and has taken on added importance in today’s conditions.
“Seafarers have been under increased pressure during the pandemic and have additional concerns for their families from whom they have been separated for many months, sometimes years. Not being able to practice their faith on land due to Covid restrictions has removed an invaluable facet of their coping and wellness strategies, so having access to Mass through the Isle of Man app is a superb innovation. We are delighted to be part of this revolutionary company. “
Mr Mitchell said the app is designed to encourage seafarers to spend less time alone in their cabins. He said the duties include providing social activities such as live gym workouts at Tapiit’s award-winning training classes.
“The app provides structured well-being support for seafarers, ranging from a self-help health and wellness library that includes nutritional counseling, to sessions of interactive support for Tapiit Live, ”he said. “Users will have access to a full month’s program of physical and mental wellness classes and educational training, including fitness and yoga sessions. Seafarers can also log their working and rest hours, and if they are feeling stressed or sick, a live SOS feature provides immediate access to the Seafarers Help live chat, which is free, confidential and available 24 hours. 24/7. Additionally, the app connects to Stella Maris and allows seafarers to find contact details for her chaplains in 54 countries. “
On a practical level, Cameron said the app also tackles the issue of storing seafarers ‘documentation in one place, as well as providing a link to the Nautilus union with details of the seafarers’ documentation. members, news, careers, jobs and training opportunities. He said the app contained a wealth of information from the vessel register, including the captain’s manual, shipping notices, IOMSR news feeds, vessel traffic and local port services.
Source: Isle of Man Ship Register