A Catholic priest from Quebec was among those who died in the March 11 when a tsunami struck the coast of Japan.
Father Andre Lachapelle was working in Japan as a member of the Society of Foreign Missionaries when the 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck the island nation.
Colleagues say the 76-year-old left immediately after the first quake was felt in order to reach his own community, but the tsunami wave surged on to the land just as he arrived. The priest's body was found outside of his car.
"He was on his way from the cathedral in Sendei to his parish, which was about 20 minutes away in Shiogama, because he wanted to be with them," the Society Superior General Guy Charbonneau told CTV.ca in a telephone interview on Sunday.
Medical examiners later determined the priest had suffered a heart attack. It was unclear whether he was struck by the wave.
"I believe he is in heaven, and he can see us," Father Florent Vincent, a friend of Lachapelle, told CTV Montreal. "He can help us from heaven, to inspire us to do good things for people, help people."