The “people’s priest” Father Bob Maguire will be given a final send off with the honour of a state funeral.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed Fr Bob’s has family accepted his government’s offer of a state funeral at St Patrick’s Cathedral.
“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,” Mr Andrews said in a statement.
A date has not yet been set for the funeral, with arrangements to be organised between his family, the Fr Bob Maguire foundation and the state government.
Father Bob died on April 10 at Cabrini Hospital at age 88.
“Father Bob was a dear and much loved member of our family and will be sorely missed for his energy and good humour,” his family said in a statement.
“His physical and mental health had been deteriorating for some time but his preference was always to help others rather than consider his own situation.”
Mr Andrews said Victoria was a “kinder, fairer place because of Father Bob”.
Fr Bob, as a media personality, Roman Catholic priest and social justice campaigner, dedicated his life to standing up for the poor and marginalised.
He was born in Melbourne on September 14, 1934 and ordained as a priest in 1960 at the age of 25.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was among the first to pay tribute.
“With the passing of Father Bob, we have lost a great Australian. An irrepressibly cheerful champion for all those battling disadvantage, he dedicated his life to brightening the lives of those most in need,” he said.
“A man of warmth and faith who faced struggles with a cheeky grin. May he rest in peace.”
He was parish priest at Saints Peter & Paul’s Catholic Church in South Melbourne from 1973 until his forced retirement at age 77, in 2012.
He was appointed Member of the Order of Australia in 1989 and was Victorian of Year in 2011.