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Beloved Catholic priest and social justice campaigner Father Bob Maguire will be honoured with a state funeral at St Patrick’s Cathedral after he died, aged 88, last week.

Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed on Tuesday that Maguire’s family had accepted the offer of a state funeral.

“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 in a statement.

Arrangements for the funeral will be made by Maguire’s family, the Father Bob Maguire Foundation and the state government, and announced to the public at a later date.

Maguire’s charity work, advocacy for the poor and wicked sense of humour made him a popular figure in Melbourne and across Australia.

He died at Cabrini Hospital in Caulfield on April 19, sparking tributes nationwide.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said: “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.

“A man of warmth and faith who faced struggles with a cheeky grin. May he rest in peace.”

Maguire was parish priest of Sts Peter & Paul’s Catholic Church in South Melbourne from 1973 to 2012. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1989 for service to homeless youth and was named Victorian of the Year in 2011.

Maguire launched the Father Bob Maguire Foundation in 2003 to provide food relief, social inclusion and educational support services “so that no one is left behind”. He was also a devoted Collingwood supporter.

His media appearances, notably with John Safran on triple j, were also popular due to his larrikin wit.

Premier Daniel Andrews said last week that Victoria was a kinder, fairer place because of Maguire.

“His generosity wasn’t confined to the walls of his church. Through his foundation, Bob provided thousands of meals every year, and he used his pulpit to advocate for those in need,” Andrews said.

“He spread his message of kindness on triple j, took to the street to protest, and was never afraid to pick up the phone and argue for what was right.”

With Ashleigh McMillan

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