Bishop leaves his fortune to foundation

Published December 1, 2000

Robert Kenneth Maguire, former bishop of Montreal, who died in October, left his entire estate of $3 million to the Anglican Foundation, according to Canon John Erb, executive director of the foundation.

Bishop Maguire, who never married, left no immediate heirs and named Mr. Erb executor of his estate. One of the stipulations in his will was that “retired clergy in the Diocese of Montreal each receive a $100 gift at Christmas” from a trust fund he set up, Mr. Erb said.

“He was witty, warm, very kind and very generous. He had a wonderful ability to preach – a charming, pleasant man loved by his people,” said Mr. Erb.

Bishop Maguire died on Oct. 14 at the age of 77 of pancreatic cancer.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, he was ordained in 1948 and emigrated to Canada in 1949, serving as assistant at the Church of St. James the Apostle in Montreal. He returned to Ireland for several years to serve as rector at St. Patrick’s Church in Armagh, Northern Ireland. He came back to Canada in 1960 and was appointed dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal.

He was consecrated bishop in 1963 at the age of 39 – then the youngest bishop in Canada. He served for 12 years during one of Quebec’s most turbulent periods. He celebrated ecumenical religious services at Expo ’67 and served during the Quiet Revolution and the separatist crisis in Quebec.

Becoming a bishop so young created some difficulty for him. He said that had he stayed on until the mandatory retirement age of 70, he would have served too long. However, his decision to step down in 1975 at the age of 51 was described as “a surprise move” in the Canadian Churchman, the forerunner of the Anglican Journal.

In retirement, he lived in Toronto and maintained a winter home in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., occasionally assisting at services in Canada and the United States.

He lived frugally and managed his investments, said Mr. Erb.


  • Solange DeSantis

    Solange De Santis was a reporter for the Anglican Journal from 2000 to 2008.

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