RIP: 25/07/2022 - Hamont-Achel
Fr. Jozef Craet was born on 24 November 1938 in Sint Niklaas. After finishing primary school, his parents sent him to Salvator College in Hamont. Already at a young age, Jos wanted to become a priest, and this motivated him to make his request to enter the novitiate with the Salvatorians. Like all Belgian novices he was sent at that time to the international novitiate in Passau in the formative community of Klosterberg. On 8 September 1959 he professed his first vows in Passau and was thus admitted as a member of the Society of the Divine Saviour. He studied philosophy and theology in Leuven. He was ordained to the priesthood on 3 July 1965 in Hasselt. In September of the same year, he was sent to Latin America, where he first studied Spanish for three months in Bogotà, Colombia. At the beginning of 1966 he continued his missionary journey to Caracas, Venezuela, where he spent the rest of his apostolic life among the poor in Catia. Fr. José was a monument in the slums, known to all, as he used to travel on foot, thus having the opportunity to greet the people. Apart from his pastoral work in the parish, mainly in the chapel of the Divine Child Jesus, he developed as a friend of children and young people, especially those with problems in their studies, giving them remedial classes. For health reasons, Fr. Jos had to return to his native Belgium in 2019 and joined the community of Hamont. He died in the early morning of 25 July 2022 in the nursing home “aan de Beverdijk” in Hamont-Achel.