Following the heartbreaking loss of the much-admired Father Bob Maguire, Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has officially announced that a state funeral is to be held, in recognition of his exceptional life and enduring impact.
Father Bob passed away at the age of 88 on Wednesday, April 19.
On Tuesday, April 25th, Andrews confirmed that the family of Father Bob had accepted the offer of a state funeral as a final tribute to the beloved priest’s life and contributions.
“Victorians will be invited to celebrate the life of Father Bob Maguire at a State Funeral, honouring the people’s priest’s generosity, kindness, humour and service to the state,” Andrews said.
The Maguire family, together with the Father Bob Maguire Foundation and the state government, will be coordinating the arrangements for the funeral, with further details to be communicated to the public in due course.
Andrews had previously expressed that the desires of Father Bob’s family would be the foremost consideration in guiding the actions of the Victorian government when it came to honouring the “people’s priest”.
When Father Bob led his final mass, more than a thousand of his comrades packed out his South Melbourne church.
They were there for Bob – because Bob was always there for us.
But he wasn’t done yet.
Retirement wasn’t Bob’s style. pic.twitter.com/IIdgZ9QnCx
— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) April 19, 2023
Father Bob was widely known for his remarkable work in advocating for social justice and aiding the underprivileged which made him a revered and respected figure both in Australia and beyond.
At the time of his passing, his family revealed that his “physical and mental health had been deteriorating for some time”. Despite his poor health, his family stated that “his preference was always to help others rather than consider his own situation”.
“Fr Bob was not just a much loved family member but was loved by all Australians for what he stood for. He has fought bravely for the underprivileged and homeless all his life. He represented the highest of principles, and he fought to actively live those principles,” his family said in a statement.
“Despite his high profile in the media, he was always on the job, especially for the disadvantaged families and individuals for whom he had great love and compassion. He wanted nobody to be left behind and always saw and believed in the good in people, but he knew that there were many whom he referred to as the unloved and unlovely. These were his real passion.
“The last few months have been very difficult for both the family and for those around Fr Bob as we managed his declining health. We thank all the medical staff who have attended him in recent months and express our gratitude to them for their work and devotion.
“We ask that our privacy be respected at this difficult time.
“The family will make appropriate funeral arrangements in due course.”
Following the passing of Father Bob, a profound outpouring of grief swiftly emerged from both the general public and notable individuals. He was widely praised for his steadfast dedication to furthering social equity and advocating for the betterment of the community.