Tributes are pouring in for famous Australian priest Bob Maguire who passed away on Wednesday aged 88.
The Australian church leader was known for his social justice activism, founding a charity delivering hundreds of free meals each week and operating an outreach program to those in need.
He had been living in a retirement home for the last few months, receiving 24-hour care.
In a statement, his family said Father Bob “will be sorely missed for his energy and good humour”. “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.”
It continued: “Father 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.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese led the outpouring of tributes describing him as an “irrepressibly cheerful champion for all those battling disadvantage” and saying the nation had lost “a great Australian”. “A man of warmth and faith who faced struggles with a cheeky grin. May he rest in peace, “Albanese wrote on Twitter.
Maguire was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1989, following his work helping homeless youth in the Open Family Foundation.
He was ordained in 1960, aged 25.