An overwhelming response to seafarers’ appeal is sweet.

The chocolate lambs are a traditional fundraiser for Easter and served moreover as a wonderful donation to the seafarers. Photo: Alphonsus Fok

Donations from across the country and gratitude from around the world have been flooding in for the tireless work being done by a Sydney religious sister supporting the seafarers visiting our shores.

Known as the “angel of the waterfront”, Sister Mary Leahy has spent the past 20 years helping those who earn a living on the seas and said she has never seen conditions so desperate.

Trapped on what has been described as “floating prisons”, many of the world’s 1.6 million seafarers already at sea for up to nine months have no real sign of when they will be able to return home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The quietly spoken Josephite sister issued an urgent appeal for personal hygiene products including shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, deodorant and razors, as well as knitted beanies and chocolates to put together care packages for the sailors, and admits to being overwhelmed by the huge response.

However, it’s the messages of gratitude from the exhausted seafarers globally that has made her even more committed to providing not only practical but spiritual support at this time of great need…

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Debbie Cramsie
The Catholic Weekly