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 .
Vikramjit Singh, who walked off the prison ground on July 1, was set to be deported when his sentenced ended, only days after he escaped.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
On Wednesday evening, a 38-year-old Melton South man was arrested by Tatura police and charged with producing counterfeit money, obtaining property by deception, going equipped to steal, committing an indictable offence while on bail and traffic offences.
Last week I went to Pilates!
Julie Sands and Sheridan Clark have been kept busy, visiting Rochester recently yo dispense free coats to residents.
Kyabram junior bombers reach grand final.
Lions send Shane Schottner off in style in win over Mansfield.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
More than 1400 cars were scanned by Heathcote police and sheriffs on Friday.
Moira Shire Council send out rates notices with incorrect figures.
Public interest to determine Deniliquin Town Hall refurbishment.
Milk co-operative, Murray Goulburn has posted a record financial result, recording an after tax profit of $29 million.
Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan joins forces with the workers to write to the Abbott Government demanding assurances for Thales' future.
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.