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 .
Neighbourhood Watch Week will start with a sizzle — a sausage sizzle to be precise — at Sevens Creek Dve in Kialla.
Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) and other emergency services are preparing for the next round of wild weather in the north-east.
It was clear blue skies last Tuesday for the official launch of the Gargarro (pronounced Ga-gar-ro) Botanic Gardens in Girgarre.
SNAKES will be coming out of hiding as the weather warms up.
KATH Bubb has been recognised for 50 years of service with the Ballendella Red Cross.
IT EXPERTISE in Kyabram has received recognition after Advance Computing won a Microsoft Australia Partner Award in the excellence in regional area customer category.
Seymour A and B-grade in season decider
Extensive rainfall in the Southern Riverina is having a negative impact on farming.
When Pyalong Primary School does something, it does it well. Here are the students all dressed up for the school's recent Roald Dahl day to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the author’s birth on September 13, 1916.
Yarroweyah's Katie Anderson will be heading to Wisconsin in the United States after winning the Dairy Youth Travel Scholarship.
After a 30-year career as an accountant in Deniliquin, Peter Skipworth officially retires today.
Tuesday, August 16
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
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.