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Updated: Fr Bob Maguire state funeral to be held 5 May at St Patrick’s Cathedral

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Fr Bob Maguire. Photo: Archdiocese of Melbourne/Archbishop Peter Comensoli Twitter.

Update 28/04/2023

The family of Melbourne priest Fr Bob Maguire have accepted an invitation from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to honour him with a state funeral, to be held on 5 May at St Patrick’s Cathedral.

“Victorians will be invited to celebrate the life of Father Bob Maguire at a state funeral, honouring the people’s priest’s generosity, kindness, humour and service to the state,” Mr Andrews said in a statement.

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He posted on Twitter to announce the date of the funeral:

 


Fr Robert “Bob” John Thomas Maguire, priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, passed away this morning at Melbourne’s Cabrini Hospital, aged 88 years.

Fr Maguire entered the seminary at Werribee in 1953 and was ordained in 1960 at the age of 25.

He served as parish priest of Sts Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church South Melbourne for four decades, and was well known for his “larrikin” temperament, charitable works, love for the poor and marginalised, and willingness to challenge with church and secular authorities.

He won widespread notoriety through his TV and radio appearances, often alongside journalist and comedian John Safran. In recent years he amassed a large following on Twitter.

The Archbishop of Melbourne, Peter Comensoli, said it saddened him to hear of the news of Fr Maguire’s passing.

“Bob has been a faithful priest of the Catholic Church in Melbourne since his Ordination in 1960, and a fierce friend of the downhearted, the broken and the lost throughout his whole life,” Archbishop Comensoli said in a statement.

“Without a doubt, he was the ‘larrikin priest,’ who had a great love for Jesus—who also lived with the outcast and the unloved.

“Recent months have been a struggle for Bob in both health and relationships. We pray that he is now at peace with his Saviour and Lord.

“In faith, we now entrust Bob to eternal life. May he be welcomed to the Heavenly feast.”

In a statement posted on the Fr Bob Maguire Foundation website, members of his family said he “will be sorely missed for his energy and good humour.”

“His physical and mental health had been deteriorating for some time but his preference was always to help others rather than consider his own situation,” the statement read.

“Fr Bob was not just a much loved family member but was loved by all Australians for what he stood for.

“He has fought bravely for the underprivileged and homeless all his life. He represented the highest of principles, and he fought to actively live those principles.

“Despite his high profile in the media, he was always on the job, especially for the disadvantaged families and individuals for whom he had great love and compassion.

“He wanted nobody to be left behind and always saw and believed in the good in people, but he knew that there were many whom he referred to as the unloved and unlovely.  These were his real passion.”

NSW Premier Chris Minns also paid tribute to Fr Maguire on Twitter, calling him a national hero and “social justice warrior.”

 

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