Stella Maris, also known as the Apostleship of the Sea, is a Catholic missionary organization that provides practical and pastoral care to seafarers around the world. Founded in Glasgow, Scotland in 1920, Stella Maris operates in ports on all continents and offers assistance to seafarers in distress, whether due to unsafe working conditions or isolation onboard their vessels. With over 230 chaplains and thousands of volunteers, Stella Maris reaches out to seafarers in more than 300 ports in 41 countries.
Stella Maris is a founding member of the International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA), which promotes collaboration and mutual assistance among organizations working for the welfare of seafarers. ICMA represents various Christian churches and communities and operates in over 100 countries with more than 400 seafarers’ centers. The mission of ICMA is to promote unity, peace, and tolerance, serving seafarers regardless of their nationality, religion, culture, gender, or ethnic origin.
Stella Maris plays a vital role in supporting seafarers’ faith and helping them cope with the challenges they face at sea. The organization’s name was changed to Stella Maris in 2020, in honor of its patron Mary, Star of the Sea. In the Philippines, Stella Maris coordinates with the public and private sectors for the annual celebration of National Seafarers’ Day, recognizing the important role of Filipino seafarers in the country’s maritime development. The organization operates 14 centers nationwide and organizes religious ceremonies and activities to support seafarers and honor those who have lost their lives at sea.