SCI provides Christmas gifts and pastoral care to crew members as Cunard's three "Queens" rendezvous for a historic meeting in New York City
As Queen Victoria crew members prepared for their maiden world voyage from New York City, SCI chaplains distributed close to 500 Christmas at Sea knitted gifts. In addition, SCI staff helped crew members wire money home when enhanced security procedures made it impossible for most of the off-duty crew to leave the vessel.
“Providing pastoral care and service to thousands of cruise ship workers is indeed a challenge and a joy. We are celebrating the tremendous increase for our services to cruise ship workers in this harbor by adding them to our list of mariners receiving Christmas at Sea gifts,” said the Rev. David M. Rider SCI’s Executive Director.
SCI staff performed routine pastoral care amid an historic visit to New York Harbor by Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth 2 and the new Queen Victoria. Because the Queen Elizabeth 2 is retiring in 2008, the viewing of the only scheduled sailing of the three “Queens” from one port, offered a maritime history-making moment to thousands of spectators.
SCI chaplain the Rev. Jacques Girard, Christmas at Sea Program Manager Jeanette DeVita, and SCI volunteer Dennis Genovese brought pastoral care, Christmas gifts from SCI’s volunteer knitters across the country, and the ability to safely wire money to their families in distant lands.
SCI provides over 17,000 hand knitted Christmas at Sea gifts to mariners including seafarers entering the Port of New York & New Jersey, American river mariners traveling 2,200 miles of America’s inland waterways and now cruise ship workers arriving in Brooklyn and Manhattan.