A number of area clergy and faithful have paid tribute to retired Philadelphia Auxiliary Bishop Robert P. Maginnis, who died Sept. 14 after a lengthy illness.

Archbishop Nelson Pérez was the principal celebrant of the Sept. 22 funeral Mass for Bishop Maginnis, which drew hundreds to the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul.

(Related: View a photo gallery and video tribute to Bishop Robert Maginnis.)

CatholicPhilly.com provides below a selection of the many words of remembrance faithful have offered on the passing of Bishop Maginnis.


“Always trying to reach everyone”

“He was always trying to reach everyone, including those he knew, the stranger, (through) prison ministry (and) youth ministry, families. … He loved his priesthood. … Bishop loved to say, ‘We are called to be saints.’ He was devoted to St Thérèse of Lisieux and quoted her often. … Even during his stay at Villa Saint Joseph in Darby (an archdiocesan residence for retired priests), Bishop shared his faith. …(He) would repeat the Memorare to the Blessed Mother frequently and to the point where staff joined in. … I firmly believe, with my whole heart and soul, that the Blessed Mother held one of Bishop’s hands and his mother held his other hand and (they) took Bishop to Our Lord saying, ‘Here is your good and faithful servant.’” – Rosie Petrick, longtime friend and caregiver

“Quiet fidelity and love”

“As his secretary, I witnessed firsthand one of God’s faithful servants who day in and day out fulfilled his ministry with quiet fidelity and love. … Always jovial, ever smiling, quick to laugh, he relished his time with his family, friends, fellow priests but most importantly in prayer.  His homilies often spoke of universal holiness and being the saint that God has meant for all of us to be. … Even after his retirement, I would handle many of his secretarial needs during my visits with him whether it was St. Edmond’s Home or Villa St Joseph.  As he reminded me on many of those visits, ‘a priest never really retires.’ … I always called him ‘my favorite bishop,’ but then I was biased.  I will always remember him not only as an inspiring devoted priest but as someone who became a truly cherished and forever treasured friend.” – Loretta Collucci, business manager, St. Patrick Parish, Philadelphia and former administrative secretary to Bishop Robert Maginnis

“He taught me what it was like to be a Catholic”

“A priest that loved God so much so that he knew it was a gift and he shared it with everyone he met. I don’t think (he) made any distinctions between Catholic, non-Catholic or whatever. If he saw where he could help you, he did. He had a great, profound love for everyone. … He taught me what it was like to be a Catholic.” – Laura Weatherly, friend and former parishioner

“Bringing the best out of young people”

“During the time that he was leader of the archdiocesan Office for Youth and Young Adults, the work that office did was so vital and so energizing that … it gave me a real and true picture of what the church is and means, and how it can be a vital part of my life and the life of young people. He had a way of bringing the best out of the young people he accompanied.” — Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister Kathleen Schipani, director, archdiocesan Office for Persons with Disabilities and the Deaf Apostolate

“Glad he was one of my mentors”

“I first met then-Msgr. Maginnis when I was at a high school CYO convention (and he) was in charge of CYO for the Archdiocese. … During the convention weekend, one of my friends was injured playing basketball. Msgr. Maginnis was informed, then drove me and my friend to the hospital. While my friend was being treated in the emergency room, I sat with Msgr. Maginnis awaiting the arrival of my friend’s parents. I remember him making me laugh while we were in that waiting room. … He put me at ease and it was nice having him there during that difficult time of my buddy’s injury. I was assigned to Msgr. Maginnis as his transitional deacon in 1991, the year before I was ordained a priest. I remember him being a wonderful priest and pastor. … He was wonderful to work for… always even-tempered and had a wonderful sense of humor. He had a great laugh. He had a kind and gentle way about him. I am glad he was one of my mentors.” – Father Joseph Watson, pastor, Nativity of Our Lord Parish, Warminster

“Kind and gentle”

“He was always a very kind and gentle person, and I think that gentleness stood out the most. … He was very faith-filled, very dedicated to his priesthood. … His interest was really in spreading the faith and being faithful. … He had such influence on people, and … I think what just shines through was his gentleness.” – Msgr. Louis A. D’Addezio, Villa Saint Joseph, Darby

“Christian witness of patience and humility”

“He was the best possible person who could ever work for you, and a tremendous influence on kids. He was a good organizer and a peacemaker. … He was a Christian witness of patience and humility, always appreciative, thankful and without complaint – and with a good sense of humor. … His devotion to the Blessed Mother was exceptional. It was no coincidence that he died between the feasts of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and Our Lady of Sorrows.” – Msgr. Francis X. Schmidt, pastor emeritus, St. Augustine Parish, Bridgeport; Villa Saint Joseph, Darby

“The beginning and the end was always Jesus Christ”

“His God-given gifts were plentiful and extraordinary, even as a young man: compassion, organizational aptitude, teaching skills, superb interpersonal ease, especially with young people. These were complemented by the fact that he was a great listener, a fantastic story teller and, of course, a dispenser of wonderful Irish wit and wisdom! … (He was) an unassuming, gentle man whose passion and joy drew young people to him. He sent those teenagers out into the world with the conviction that the world could be better and the confidence that they could change it. ‘Magin,’ as he was and is still fondly known, possessed creative vision complemented by a penchant for planning and inspiring. He used these talents to teach and mold young people. He also modeled integrity and humility, perhaps most demonstrably in his recognition of other people’s gifts and strengths. He showed that good leaders are able to praise and elevate others for their talents rather than being threatened by them. … For (him), the beginning and the end was always Jesus Christ, which is why he remained always hopeful, always faithful.” — Patricia Sack, Merion Mercy Academy; Richard Van Fossen, RVF and Associates

“A true gift from God”

“Bishop Maginnis was a true gift from God. He was a true pastor, and he loved people. He loved to be with the people, and he cared about people deeply. As Bishop’s coat of arms speaks so well, ‘Stay with us, Lord.’ He walked with people, in the good times and bad, in sickness and health, he was a presence. And he taught me a lot about how you serve. And he did it so beautifully.” — Father Stephen Thorne, Chairperson, Archbishop’s Commission on Racial Healing; in residence, Nativity B.V.M. Parish, Media

“He walked the talk”

“I think Bishop Maginnis, whether he was Father Maginnis or Msgr. Maginnis or Bishop, was still Bob Maginnis — an average, normal guy who loved people and was just very real. He didn’t need all the titles; he just accepted people where they were and (was) just very authentic. And people appreciate that … especially young people. (As Jesus said of Nathaniel,) there was no duplicity in Robert Maginnis. He was who he was. Actions speak louder than words, and he walked the talk — and he did that throughout his life.” – Father Thomas Higgins, pastor, Holy Innocents Parish, Philadelphia.