The dinner was an initiative of Karina Movigliatti, who is completing the Pastoral Placement Program under the auspices of the diocese. With the help of the Centre chaplains − Rick McCosker, Rev Garry Dodd and Rev Peter Middleton – she made arrangements to host some 40 diners.
As well as experiencing fellowship with like-minded people, many of whom volunteer at MTS, there was musical entertainment and sharing of stories.
Rev Gary Dodd shared openly his vocation story, and feels strongly, “I had a call to be here.
“What we do here is real because what the seafarers experience here is community.
“The people who come here are the ones in need. The work we do here enables life-giving stories – they’re transforming for us [as ministers and volunteers]. It’s actually the seafarers ministering to us!”
I enjoyed meeting Filipino seafarer Bernardo and his wife Cecile. Bernardo became ill in Newcastle and underwent heart surgery at John Hunter Hospital. Cecile flew to Newcastle – her first trip to Australia – to be with him – and insisted on helping in the kitchen on Saturday evening!
Since some 13,000 seafarers came through the MTS doors last year, there is plenty of scope for more volunteers to join the MTS team.
If you are interested please P Rick McCosker, 4961 5007 or E firstname.lastname@example.org
Another way to help is by donating books and magazines which are given as gifts to seafarers during their time in Newcastle. All books and magazines are welcome, with cooking magazines and National Geographic being particularly popular. Also useful are (reusable) supermarket bags. If you would like to donate, please bring to the Centre between 8.30am and 9pm, any day.
Please visit www.mn.catholic.org.au/church-community/chaplaincy to find out more about the chaplaincy ministry and services provided by the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.