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Father Bob: The Larrikin Priest
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Father Bob: The Larrikin Priest

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  91 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
This is the life story of Father Bob Maguire - a rare behind-the-scenes look at the much-loved 'people's priest'. The enigmatic champion of the down-and-out was shaped by a lonely childhood in poor circumstances, an early priesthood that collided with the upheaval of Vatican 11 and working with the army during the Vietnam War. This is a lively portrait of the man behind ...more
Paperback, 376 pages
Published April 24th 2013 by Penguin Australia
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Jan 04, 2015 Caitlin rated it really liked it
Shelves: australian, memoir
These are strange and interesting times for the Catholic church, with the words “Catholic priest” synonymous with pedophilia and an old-world dislocation from real people. Likewise these are strange and interesting times for Australia, when the concept of using money to draw the most social, rather than financial, benefit has become considered the height of economic mismanagement and requires the conservative hierarchy to rectify the situation.

And few things personify what is happening quite lik
Mar 14, 2014 Julia rated it really liked it
I don't read a lot of biography-but this was on my list for a long time. He's my sort of guy - intelligent, reflective, curious - and able to act out of a deep compassion and empathy for the less fortunate in our midst. He's also got a great sense of humour, rat cunning, and the ability to cut through the cant and hypocrisy of the Catholic Church hierarchy.
George Pell and Dennis Hart got him in the end - and what for? Issues of power and control? Giving too much money away to the sick, the poor
Sep 14, 2013 Lyn rated it liked it
Father Bob comes across as a committed, hard working man of the people whose humanity is never in question. He is a thorn in the side of the members of the conservative Catholic hierarchy, and they force him to leave his parish at age 77. This doesn’t seem too unreasonable, except that the parish is his life and all he wants.
It is a biography, not my normal read, and so comes across to me as a bit "one thing after another". I never felt it was a close look at Bob’s character, but a casual, if w
Matt John
Jun 10, 2013 Matt John rated it really liked it
Shelves: memior
Father Bob Maguire. An ordinary man, who grew up in less than nurturing circumstances to become a great advocate and supporter of the poor, homeless and disadvantaged. A man who was inspired by the teachings of the Catholic Church to do good and to help those in need and who fought much of the hierarchy of this same institution to do so. Sue Williams tells the story of how Father Bob came to be the man he is today. A man who considered people to be the priority of the Catholic Church, rather ...more
Dimity Powell
Jan 10, 2014 Dimity Powell rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I am a colossal fan of Father Bob and follower of his war cries aplenty. So I was eager to learn more about the man behind the mission as it were and leaped into this biography with high expectations. Unfortunately I found the style in which his often dramatic life is portrayed by Sue Williams a little bland and lack lustre and in stark comparison with the title character. It left me feeling a little underwhelmed although the life-story it was relaying was full of pepper and spice and completely ...more
May 31, 2014 Barbara rated it liked it
I requested (and received) this book as a present, as Father Bob epitomises to me how a priest should, in my perhaps romanticised view as a non-Catholic, act, that is focused on the community and the poor, not the hierachy.

The book is an easy, if not a very in-depth, read, about a man who reminds me that it is possible to be a larrikin and a 'good' person (without needing or pretending to be a saint) in a country that is making me feel more and more in despair about the capacity for Australians
St Stephen's C C
This is the life story of Father Bob Maguire - a rare behind-the-scenes look at the much-loved 'people's priest'. The enigmatic champion of the down-and-out was shaped by a lonely childhood in poor circumstances, an early priesthood that collided with the upheaval of Vatican 11 and working with the army during the Vietnam War. This is a lively portrait of the man behind the resilient social activist and popular media performer who refuses to be defeated by enforced retirement from the parish ...more
Jul 23, 2013 Wendy rated it liked it
What an interesting man he is, you can only admire someone who comes from such hard circumstances, but still finds compassion and a steady faith in both people and God. I enjoyed this book and the story of Father Bob's life. I always enjoyed his banter with John Safran, I like knowing more of his life. And thank him for being the person most of us are not. I hope he has found peace without his parish and beloved church. So nice to have a positive catholic experience for once, though George Pell ...more
Mar 24, 2014 Julie rated it it was amazing
Honest and down-to-earth account of Father Bob's life. The man is an inspiration and has completely modelled his life on that of 'the founder of the firm,' Jesus. Father Bob gives and gives. Everything. With no thought of reward or return. It's a difficult choice for those of us with full bellies and comfy warm beds, but I think that, for him, there was never a conscious choice to make. He just sees what needs to be done, and does it.
Jul 17, 2014 Thom rated it really liked it
Father Bob Mcguire is an icon and a beacon of Australian compassion. Sue Williams carefully documents his painful childhood, involvement in the army, the scandals in which he was embroiled, and other interesting titbits you might want to know. If you've any interest in the awkward juncture that the Catholic Church finds itself in Australia, or the problems Bob posed for the hierarchy, this is a good start. ** best matched with the film In Bob We Trust.
Jacinta Crealy
Aug 31, 2013 Jacinta Crealy rated it liked it
This was quite a good book. The story of Father Bob's early life was fascinating and well written. The book bogged down in the discussion about Father Bob's battle to remain in his role at South Melbourne after several decades of work. Lots of repetitive back and forth about people lauding him and the Church not budging. Could have said this much more succinctly. If not for this, I would have given the book another star. Worth a read if you're a Father Bob fan.
Tara Bell
Mar 27, 2016 Tara Bell rated it liked it
This book was this months read for our local bookclub. I don't usually read biographies, however I know of Father Bob from seeing him on tv during his fight to stay with the parish and beyond. I am not a huge fan of the Catholic Church (based on my own upbringing) so found it hard to read at times. It was interesting to read about his background and the way the church kicked him out unfairly. He's certainly one of a kind!
May 24, 2014 Maggie rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
A look at the life of Father Bob, a man who has devoted his entire working life to the betterment of others. His desire and ability to help those in need is a wonderful example. The Catholic Church's response is unfair yet predictable. I suspect they were unhappy with the amount of media exposure Father Bob attracted, without seeing that it was all for the work of helping others.
Jane Baker
Feb 16, 2014 Jane Baker rated it liked it
Father Bob has such an inspiring life! Lives completely for others. He's seen so much sadness too. The writing was kind of hard to get through sometimes - the kind of like reading one of my own essays.
Craig Thurmer
Nov 17, 2014 Craig Thurmer rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this. Probably because he is an inspirational Australian and Catholic. I really learnt more about this man I have been listening to in the media for a long time. Bless you Bob (and no you didn't sneeze!).
Apr 15, 2016 Oly rated it liked it
An inspirational read about one man who walks the talk and stays true to his religious beliefs albeit going about his business in a truly unique way.
Jan 22, 2014 Ktarle rated it did not like it
Terribly written :( I like Father Bob however would've been great to hear his story in his own words
Jul 29, 2014 Dennis rated it liked it
I like Fr Bob more than I liked this book . A good read though and I found out lots more than I previously new about this maverick Priest . However, the writer 's style was fairly basic.
Simon Risson
Aug 31, 2013 Simon Risson rated it really liked it
Amazing story. Amazing tenacity and sense of belief in the life he has been called to. Inspiring, stirring & challenging.
Carmel rated it really liked it
Feb 25, 2014
Amanda Jane
Amanda Jane rated it really liked it
Jul 01, 2014
Gina Pettitt
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Oct 01, 2013
James rated it liked it
Aug 03, 2013
Helen Els
Helen Els rated it liked it
Aug 26, 2014
Kristie rated it really liked it
May 25, 2016
Kirsten rated it it was amazing
Jan 16, 2014
Cally Hansen
Cally Hansen rated it it was amazing
Apr 30, 2014
Miss Bev
Miss Bev rated it really liked it
Jan 05, 2015
Heather rated it really liked it
Jun 27, 2013
Kirsten Hivon
Kirsten Hivon rated it liked it
Jan 22, 2015
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Sue Williams is an award-winning journalist and columnist who’s written for all of Australia’s leading newspapers and magazines. She also appears regularly on TV and on radio, and has had her own TV segment on SBS TV’s popular Hotline program. Born in England, she has worked in print and TV in the UK and New Zealand, too.
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