A State Funeral Service for Father Robert (Bob) John Maguire AM RFD was held at St Patrick’s Cathedral at 11 am on Friday 5 May 2023.
Friends, family, colleagues and members of the public gathered to reflect on Father Bob’s life and his significant contribution to the Victorian community.
The Service commenced with a Welcome to Country from Wurundjeri Elder, Aunty Di Kerr OAM.
The Very Reverend Werner Utri, Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, shared a welcome and gathering message before Kristina Lang and Christopher Watson led the congregation for the Australian National Anthem.
The Premier, the Honourable Daniel Andrews MP spoke on behalf of the people of Victoria, reflecting on Father Bob’s ability to listen and learn from the community, his care, compassion, faith, quick wit, and sense of humour.
Father Bob’s niece, Peta Knights, spoke on behalf of his family. She remembered ‘Uncle Bobby’ as a huge presence, who was always the last to arrive at family gatherings - but kept everyone laughing with his antics. She recalled that Father Bob was always generous with his time and had an infinite capacity for love and empathy in equal measure.
The Bob Maguire Foundation Board Member, Frank O’Connor reflected on Father Bob’s work in the communities of South Melbourne, Melbourne, and beyond. He remembered Father Bob’s ability to create a sense of belonging for anyone and everyone – a quality that endeared him to all, no matter their circumstances or stance in society.
Father Bob’s collaborator and co-host, John Safran, provided a humorous tribute to his close friend of 20 years. John shared how he thought Father Bob might have reacted to the offer of a State Funeral Service in the style of their insightful banter, and reflected on how it brought Bob so much joy to grapple with the big questions in life in an irreverent way.
A touching video and photo montage followed, to the sounds of Amazing Grace which was sung by Emmanuel Kelly.
A Requiem Mass followed with Most Reverend Peter A Comensoli DD, Archbishop of Melbourne as Principal Celebrant, with Most Reverend Mark Coleridge BA DSS, Archbishop of Brisbane, and priest friends of Father Bob as Concelebrants. Reverend Michael Buck was the Master of Ceremonies.
At Father Bob’s request, the service concluded with Danny Boy.
Reviewed 17 May 2023