Msgr. Dom Custódio Alvim Pereira was easy to notice across the streets of Rome as when going out, he still used to wear frequently the old traditional black saturn felt hat which was immensely popular among the clergy prior to the Second Vatican Council.
Born on February 6, 1915 at São João do Monte in Portugal, he was ordained to the priesthood at the age of 22 on December 18, 1937. Shortly afterwards, in 1946, he was appointed as vice–rector of the Portuguese Seminary in Rome and in 1954 its rector. He held this office until 1958 when he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the See of Lourenço Marques in Mozambique. He received his episcopal consecration with the Titular See of Nepte on March 8, 1959 from Cardinal Teodosio Clemente de Gouveia, assisted by Bishops Manuel de Medeiros Guerreiro and Sebastião Soares de Resende.
On August 3, 1962 Pereira was named Archbishop of the same See, succeeding the named Cardinal Teodosio Clemente de Gouveia. On August 26, 1974, Dom Pereira resigned from his post aged 59, as requested by Pope Paul VI, when he was forced to leave his African diocese due to the Communist Revolution of 1975. He was succeeded by future Cardinal Alexandre José Maria dos Santos OFM. Shortly after his retirement, Dom Pereira moved back to Rome, where he remained until his demise. Along the years he was named canon of the chapter of St. Peter's Patriarchal Vatican Basilica of which he was also appointed as dean and vice-president.
Dom Pereira became a spokesman of anti–abortion issues and even took part in the March of Life held in Washington DC., on January 22, 1999 aged at the time 83. He spent some days there, visiting right-to-life politicians before departing the United States of America to return back to Rome. The Archbishop passed away on Sunday, November 12, 2006, aged 91, at the Our Lady of Fatima Home in Rome, where he resided during the last years of his life. His funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Peter's Basilica on Tuesday, November 14 and was interred according to his wishes at Rome's Campo Verano Cemetery in the chapel of the Pontifical Portuguese College.
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