Perhaps Australia's most popular priest paid one of his early parishes, Seymour, a visit last week.CHALPAT SONTI March 13, 2014 9:15am
There’s little doubt Father Bob Maguire is Australia’s most popular priest, and last week in Seymour he showed why.
Father Bob was guest speaker at Seymour and District U3A’s Melting Pot session and he had the 100-plus members of the audience in the Salvation Army hall — including long-time friend and parish priest Monsignor Tony Toms — both spellbound and in stitches.
Despite being forced out from his South Melbourne parish in 2012, Father Bob has become more popular than ever before, as he manages his Father Bob Foundation and other ventures — to help those most in need — with numerous media commitments.
But what is little known is the 79-year-old’s early history as a priest, which included a stint in Seymour.
Father Bob then joined the Army as a chaplain in the mid-1960s, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and being posted to Puckapunyal before going to the Vietnam War.
After that he took up the South Melbourne parish, where he remained for 38 years before being controversially forced to retire. Or as he so eloquently put it ‘‘I never got the red card (but) I caught a glimpse of the yellow’’.
The Seymour audience were told of his time here with Masses both at St Mary’s and Tallarook.
At the latter it was ‘‘blokes on one side, women on the other’’ and pristine white cloths being pulled away to avoid the waste from incontinent ‘‘but not incompetent’’ bats.
Those early experiences taught him ‘‘if you want to change the way things are you’ve got to change it yourself’’. And just as importantly, that while society might be made up of people who were simply ‘‘numbers in the game of consumerism’’, that didn’t have to be the case.
‘‘We’re more than that, we’re a community,’’ he said.
‘‘That’s what I discovered out there (Puckapunyal).’’
And how to spread the word.
‘‘You can talk about God, Jesus, Mary and religion but you have to do it under the guise of spirituality for the Aussies to accept that.’’
And there was more, including the reason behind the way he does things.
‘‘You can’t talk about homelessness without talking about helplessness or hopelessness.’’
A perceptive take on current events around the world led him to postulate that while treatments for all sorts of diseases were being searched for, it was ‘‘social cancers’’ that most needed curing.
‘‘One of the reasons we’re in the predicament we’re in .
Father Bob engaged in plenty of light-hearted banter with Monsignor Toms, and even had some advice for him about a younger generation ‘‘that knows everything’’ thanks to modern technology.
‘‘You have a look .
Two teenage boys have been arrested following a series of traffic incidents in Shepparton last night.
Fine weather and a strong number of athlete registrations will ensure this weekend’s Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival is another huge success.
The fifth annual King Billy Retreat Open Garden Party will be held at Rushworth on Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26, from 10 am to 4 pm.
The head of the Building Designers Association of Victoria has big plans for the association.
St Joseph’s Primary School students have been preparing their push carts ahead of next month’s KidZcapers.
KCLC supported Southern Processing win award
Members celebrate over the weekend.
The four-day Murray Darling Association annual national conference will be held in the Berrigan Shire next year.
Frank Hill is thrilled with his repaired 1948 grey Fergie.
As weather warms, so does car theft; Cobram police urge drivers to lock parked vehicles.
Deniliquin McDonald's raised more than $1300 for McHappy Day on Saturday.
The latest in stone and pome fruit research and development will be the focus of a forum at the Horticulture Centre of Excellence at Tatura tomorrow, Wednesday, October 22.
Lions Benalla donates $1200 to buy a bar code reader for Lorraine Billman who will soon be able to go shopping without her husband.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.