After coping with cancer for several years
It is with deep sorrow that the Council General International (CGI) of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP) receives news of the passing, on May 20th, of our dear fellow member António Correia Saraiva (1946-2021) at the age of 74. He passed away at the Hospital of Saint Mary, in Lisbon, where he had been hospitalized for cancer treatment.
Married to Mrs. Maria Celeste Correia Saraiva, our brother was a bank employee (retired). The couple had a son (Pedro António) and a daughter (Ana Catarina), and four grandchildren (Ana, Inés, João and Maria), and lived in the city of Covilhã, 300 km away from Lisbon.
Correia Saraiva worked hard for the expansion of the SSVP, devoting his whole life to this cause. In his lectures he always thanked his father-in-law for inviting him to participate in a Vincentian Conference in 1973. He was currently an active member at St. Peter’s Conference in the city where he lived.
He held several positions at the SSVP structure: Conference president, president of Covilhã Zone Council, president of Guarda’s Central Council, president of several Vincentian associations and president of the Superior Council in Portugal (2010-2016).
The CGI recalls the outstanding role played by Correia Saraiva in two important events held by the SSVP Portugal: the 1st SSVP Lusophone Countries Summit (2013) and the CGI’s Annual Meeting (2014). In all annual CGI meetings he attended, Portugal was always very well represented during the six years of his presidency at the Superior Council.
The note, published on social networks by sister Alda Couceiro, the current president of the Superior Council in Portugal, shows a deep sorrow on the passing of fellow member António Correia Saraiva: “The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Portugal was impoverished by the passing of brother Saraiva. He was a man of God and a friend to all of us, both our fellow members and those we welcomed. His death has left a very strong mark on all of us”, said sister Alda Couceiro.
At this time of sorrow, the CGIl expresses its heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of President Correia Saraiva and to Portugal’s SSVP members. The 16th President General, Renato Lima de Oliveira, who was also a personal friend of brother Saraiva, asks all members to pray De profundis at all Vincentian meetings for the soul of the deceased.
“Our dear brother Saraiva was regarded by his friends as a man full of human and Christian principles, an example for all of us for his wisdom, humility, spirit of conciliation, testimony, Vincentian spirituality and love for the poor. We are very sorry for his absence. May God comfort the hearts of his widow, children and grandchildren, and may the Lord receive him in the Celestial Conference”, said President Lima de Oliveira.