Skipper Martin Finnie (left) and deckhand John James watch
Fr Mark Chamberlain bless Sirocco at the Careys Bay wharf
yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Holy water is being used in a bid to improve Otago
commercial fishing catches. Catholic priest Fr Mark Chamberlain
blessed three Careys Bay fishing boats yesterday morning,
before sprinkling holy water on the decks and anointing them
''It's a good thing to do, because it acknowledges all the
hard work the fishermen do and that there's always an element
of risk involved at sea. We ask for God's blessing and
protection on the water,'' Fr Chamberlain said.
There was a long tradition of religious ritual among
''The Port Chalmers Iona Church is dedicated to the Lady Star
of the Sea.''
The Holy Name Church priest blessed three boats belonging to
Moeraki fisherman and charter operator Martin Finnie;
Sirocco, Katrina and Lady Jane 1. ''I wanted to get it done
because it's an old Italian Catholic tradition and my family
on my mother's side were Italian fishermen at Ravensbourne.''
The tradition began in Mediterranean fishing communities to
ensure a bountiful season and safe waters for fishermen.