The Apostleship of the Sea in Great Britain has paid tribute to Cardinal Hamao who died on 8 November and was until 2006 its international coordinator in the Vatican. Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao died on Thursday night having suffered in recent months from cancer. The 77 -year-old Japanese Cardinal headed the Vatican Council which coordinated the Apostleship of the Sea internationally for eight years. He was previously an auxiliary bishop in Tokyo and then Bishop of Yokohama, Japan, before taking up his post in the Vatican in June 1998. He was elevated to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II in 2002. Commodore Chris York, National Director of the Apostleship of the Sea in Great Britain, paid warm tribute to Cardinal Hamao. He said: "We have been saddened to hear of the passing of Cardinal Hamao. During the good Cardinal's tenure at the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, the worldwide Apostleship of the Sea has gone from strength to strength. His wise leadership and great pastoral skills, coupled with an approachable and friendly manner, made him an excellent guide for the Church's outreach to seafarers. His attendance at the AOS GB national conference in London in 2005 was greatly appreciated, Cardinal Hamao and his family are very much in our prayers at this time."
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