Vale, Father Bob

Vale, Father Bob

Father Bob Macguire, a popular Catholic priest in Melbourne, has passed away. He was 88.

Known widely as ‘Father Bob’ for his appearances on television and radio, he was oftentimes the sparring partner for comedian and documentary maker John Safran.

A popular figure in Melboure, his Father Bob foundation aided homeless people. He was also known for a sometimes awkward relationship to his own church’s hierarchy.

First ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1960, he had a long parish ministry. Father Bob was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1989 for his service to young people experiencing homelessness. He was also named Victorian of the Year in 2011.

After the Catholic church asked him to retire from parish ministry at the mandated age of 75, he agreed to a compromise that saw him retire two years later.

In his final mass, he told the packed Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church in South Melboure, “I can’t take the church with me, and I don’t have another church to go to, [but] I’m still Bob Maguire the Catholic priest and I’m still Father Bob the citizen.”

Victorian Trade Hall Council Secretary Luke Hilikari was among those who took to Twitter to pay tribute to Father Bob.

Father Bob was also known for his unique wit. When Melbourne hosted the 2009 Parliament of the World’s religions, he sat on a panel discussing faith, young people, and social media. When an audience member asked how their religious groups could keep young people involved, his single word response was, “Twitter.”

Insights sends our condolences to Father Bob Mcaguire’s family, friends, and colleagues.


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