29 Nov 2023

Priest without borders

Fr Rob Egar new crop.jpg

The Southern Cross | November 2023

Mgr Robert Joseph Egar - Born: July 22 1933 | Died: September 19 2023

Robert Joseph Egar was the seventh of nine children born to Eugene and Dorothea Egar on July 22 1933. His younger sister Ruth became a Sister of Mercy and younger brother Tony became a Passionist priest.

His early education was at the Convent of Mercy school at Parkside, followed by Christian Brothers College in Adelaide.

Rob grew up with peaceful, faith-filled and committed parents, it was a very happy family and family life was always important to Rob. In later life he was often the instigator of family gatherings.

He commenced his ecclesiastical studies at St Francis Xavier's Seminary Adelaide and St Patrick's College Manly NSW. He was ordained priest in St Francis Xavier's Cathedral on July 27 1957.


His first appointment was as assistant priest at Croydon where he remained for six years. Next he served at Brighton where in March 1966 he was appointed Chaplain to Flinders University and also a member of the Catholic Radio and TV Committee. In May 1967 he was appointed a member of the Senate of Priests.

In January 1970 he was appointed Parish Priest at Morphett Vale, a rapidly developing area south of Adelaide. There he lived in a transportable hut for the first 18 months. One of the milestones of his time at Morphett Vale was the building and completion of the new church of Mary Help of Christians - quite a modern style church that stands out as one travels down South Road. Another major development in his time was the Antonio School on a site opposite the church. The school took its name from the Antonio Family who made a major contribution to its construction.

He also redeveloped the old church - the second church built in the diocese, and also where St Mary MacKillop's excommunication was lifted.

Another notable innovation - he appointed Sr Meredith Evans RSM and his sister Ruth as Pastoral Associates.

In June 1971 he was appointed Diocesan Consultor for a three year term.

In May 1973 Fr Rob took long service leave and travelled overseas.

In March 1974 he was appointed a member of the Southern Cross Advisory Board, and soon after he was reappointed a Diocesan Consultor for another three year term.

While he was chaplain at Flinders University he began studying and on December 1 1974 he received his Bachelor of Arts degree.

In February 1976 Fr Rob was chosen as the Consultors' representative on the Council of Priests.

In July 1979 he was appointed to the Council of Sites and Architecture.

In August 1982 Fr Rob took long service leave and holidays.

Soon after his return, in January 1983 he was appointed leader of the Salisbury Parish Team, an innovative idea of shared leadership in the pastoral care of the parish. But after a while he continued as Parish Priest.

Fr Rob had quite a leadership role in the diocese and in November 1983 he was appointed a member of the Priestly Life and Ministry Committee. Then in June 1985 he was asked to join a 'Committee of Pastors' responsible to advise the Archbishop on appointment and transfers of priests - more commonly know now as the Appointments Board.

In February 1987 he was again appointed to the Council of Priests and also as Chairman of the Council. On February 1 1988 he was elected Council of Priests representative on the SA Catholic Schools Commission. Later that year he again elected member of the Council of Priests and also to serve as its Chairman. Then the following year he was again appointed a Diocesan Consultor for a five-year term.

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