Stella Maris

Also known as Apostleship of Sea, Stella Maris provides pastoral care services to seafarers when they arrive in the ports of Brisbane. Our Stella Maris team is dedicated to supporting this community of people who are separated for long periods of time from family and loved ones for their work.

Tending to the spiritual and pastoral care needs of seafarers, helping them with the challenges they face with long stretches away from family and land, is a critical part of the work. The Stella Maris team also provide practical support with access to essential goods, SIM cards to contact families and the opportunity to spend some time ashore.

Support in a COVID world

Since 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the shape of our mission to seafarers as Australia’s borders have remained closed. With seafarers unable to disembark from ships and our team unable to go aboard, the Stella Maris team has had to find other ways to support people. In 2020 they delivered more than 1000 care packages with essential supplies and some comforts to approximately 50 ships at Northside Wharf in Brisbane. These packs help sustain seafarers during their long periods at sea.

The work of Stella Maris for decades

For decades Stella Maris has been providing care and practical support to seafarers from the Port of Brisbane. Until the COVID-19 pandemic our pastoral care team provided important spiritual support to Seafarers when they arrived in port. They would also be available to sit, listen and reflect with seafarers who were struggling or in need of pastoral support, in particular when a soul had been lost at sea as a result of mis-adventure or death. When they boarded ships they would also give out supplies including SIM cards which are invaluable to seafarers wanting to connect with families at home.

They also operated a bus from the wharfs to a centre at Wynnum. At the centre seafarers could relax, socialise, connect with family and friends back home using our free WIFI and receive other support when needed. The centre is only a short walk to bars, restaurants and shops providing the opportunity for seafarers to stretch their legs and explore the community while ashore.