OBITUARY 27/02/2017

Fra Robert Zivkovic, OSM

Our Fr. Bob was born in Chicago in 1933, son of James and Eleanor (Judecki).  He was therefore of Polish and Croatian extraction. He grew up in the proverbial South Side of Chicago where he was a member of the St. Agnes Parish.  Bob’s secondary education was at St. Rita’s High School, conducted by the Augustinian friars. Too young to be drafted during the Second World War, he did serve in the USA army some years later. By that time, his military service was pretty well limited to office work. He entered the Servite Order after this and began his novitiate at Mount St. Philip in Granville, Wisconsin. Ordained to the priesthood on 15 January 1966, he assisted for a short time in various parishes. 


In preparation for the transformation of the Our Lady of Sorrows province and the St. Joseph (Italian) province into Eastern and Western, Fr. Robert was asked, along with a few other young friars, to minister in the opposite province in Denver, Colorado. It was from here that he took the leap to the growing Australian foundation. He had been ordained barely one year.


Bob’s long ministry in Australia was spent almost entirely at Servite College, originally known as St. Philip’s Regional School for Boys.  It was there that he witnessed the transfer of the role of principal from a friar to a layperson; its change from a boys’ to a co-ed school, (one of the first to take this step in the Perth archdiocese); as well as the change of the name to Servite College.  He was always affectionately known there as Father Zee.


Besides his ministry in the classroom, teaching various subjects as required of him, Fra Robert also made a reputation for himself among students, staff and parents as an avid devotee of sports.  Students quickly learned how to distract him from a prepared lesson on a Monday morning by asking about the outcome of some weekend game.  Years later, when he felt he could no longer respond to the requirements of a classroom teacher because of his age, he served for many more years as college chaplain.


In 1985, Fr. Bob’s mother was terminally ill and he spent a year in Chicago to be with her until her death.  During this time, he served as an assistant priest in St. Domitilla’s parish. He returned to Australia and in 1991 was the first American Servite to take out Australian citizenship, in a day when this required relinquishing his USA passport.


Father Zee was part of The Tuart Hill community when it spent almost a full year with the Norbertine Canons (2005-2006) while a new wing was added to the Priory to accommodate ageing or ill friars. After a few years, his health began to deteriorate. His fight with Parkinson’s disease gradually worsened and he was moved to assisted living with the Little Sisters of the Poor.  Slowly, over several years, he lost recognition of visitors and power of speech. He returned to the Lord to whom he had dedicated his life on 27th February 2017.  His funeral Mass at St. Denis church was packed with people and with memories. Some college staff members saw to it that his favourite hymn: “They’ll know we are Christians by our Love” escorted his remains from the church.  A fitting tribute.

Withdrawl from La Trobe University and Parkville, Melbourne

The Australian Servite Delegation has decided (General Assembly of October 2015) to give up the La Trobe (Bundoora) University Catholic chaplaincy after 48 rich and rewarding years and return it to the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

It was in fact almost from the beginning of La Trobe University that the Servites were asked to look after its pastoral needs. They were already taking care of Our Lady of the Way Parish, Kingsbury, not far from the university. Fr. Vincent Harkins OSM was the first Catholic chaplain and his memory is revered even today at the university. A hall has been named after him! In the following decades different friars served La Trobe with a typical spirit of service, friendship and deepening of faith.


These are the friars who served La Trobe:

Fr. Myles Lynch, Fr. Liam Mackle, Fr. Peter Porteous, Fr. Michael Raj Manikkam and Fr. Anthony Xavier Rathinam.


The farewell took place on 17 December 2015. Soon after the Eucharistic celebration, the members of the chaplaincy had a meal together in the Agora. A few days later Fr. Peter Porteous, the

Delegate Provincial, informed Bishop Mark Edwards OMI, in charge of Tertiary Education in Melbourne, of our decision to withdraw. Later it was the turn of Fr. John Fontana to write to Archbishop Denis Hart. The keys to the La Trobe Catholic chaplain’s office were returned to the diocesan Curia. It is memorable that Bishop Mark Edwards OMI graciously found time to visit our community in Parkville to personally thank the friars for their long service.

It is understood that Fr. Phuong Vu SVD from Vietnam will be the new Catholic chaplain to La Trobe from 2 August 2016 onwards. He speaks Vietnamese, Chinese Mandarin and English. We wish him Good Luck and all the blessings of the Lord for a fruitful ministry.

Following the decision of the last General Assembly, the friars from Parkville have completed their move to Tuart Hill, Perth. Anthony Xavier was the first to join St. Philip’s Priory on the 1st of March to start work at the Servite College and Fr. Myles Lynch and Liam Mackle joined only in July due to various reasons. We must also mention that after many years of dedicated service as Catholic chaplain to the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Fr. Myles Lynch had a grateful farewell celebration in the second half of June.

   Gallery - Click a thumbnail to view as slideshow   

OBITUARY 2/8/2015


On Monday morning, 10th August, a large crowd of parishioners of St. Anthony’s parish, Wanneroo gathered at the church which stands at the principal square of the city.  Many from St. Denis parish, Joondanna were also present.  They were there to farewell Fra Patrick (Paddy) Boyle, OSM, who had gone to his eternal reward on 2nd August.  The principal mourners were his Servite religious brothers as well as two of his sisters who had flown in from Ireland and four nieces who are already resident in Australia.

Father had suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease for some 13 years and had passed his last years resident at Catholic Homes in Castledare, Perth.  Burial was in the Servite plot at Pinnaroo Memorial Park, Whitfords.


Father’s Mass was celebrated by Fra Christopher M Ross, OSM as well as all Servite friars resident in Western Australia.   The large concelebrating contingent of local clergy was led by the Vicar General, Fr. Peter Whitely.  Fr. John Daly, the parish priest, assisted in an especially generous way.  The liturgy proceeded in a particularly heartfelt manner.  As the saying goes, “One could feel the love!”


Fra Boyle was born on 7th March 1930 in Letterkenny, Donegal Ireland.  He entered the Servite Order in Benburb, Co. Tyrone in 1949 and was ordained on the 8th July 1956.    He was among the first young men who attached themselves to the Servite Order after its belated foundation in Ireland following World War II.  He studied his Philosophical courses in Benburb Priory and theology in Lake Bluff (Chicago, Illinois).  Shortly after ordination, he was assigned to the Servite parish in Belen, New Mexico as assistant priest.  In 1960 he was sent to the young foundation of the Servite Order in Australia and remained here for the rest of his life.


St. Anthony’s in Wanneroo was not only his first assignment but remained his principal ministry.  Starting in a very challenging parish set-up on the peripheries of Perth, he laboured over many years, building the community, ministering to the spiritual needs of the people, becoming almost an icon of the local community.  In the early days, the Italian and Croatian market-gardeners were special care and concern, but as the area developed he was always a stalwart supporter of the incoming residents.  Only near the end of his lengthy ministry did he enjoy the privilege of building the large modern church which is seen today.


Fra Paddy served for a few years as the first Servite in our one-time parish of Our Lady of the Way in Kingsbury, Victoria and also at St. Denis Joondanna, W.A.  Here he gave the same pastoral care which won the hearts and affection and respect of countless families and individuals.  From 1973 to 1976 he filled the position of Vicar Provincial, in a leadership role for all the Servite activities in Australia.  He was also the first in a long line of Australian friars who took advantage of a post-Vatican programme of renewal at the University of California, Berkeley.


If one word characterises Fra Paddy Boyle that word is “Irish”.  He had grown up in the area of Ireland where the use of the Gaelic language predominated.  His humour, his taste in music and art, his approach to any and all persons always bore that indescribable characteristic of his origins.  He will be remembered with fondness by the many persons of every race and background who crossed his path.  May he now rest in peace with the Lord he served so well.

5/18/2015 12:00 AM

Fra Carlo M. Marchetti, OSM, a solemn professed friar, priest, and member of the Australian Delegation of the USA Province of the Friar Servants of Mary, died Sunday, May 17, 2015, in Perth Australia. Originally from Chicago, Fr. Marchetti was 89 years of age and is survived by his sister, Santa, and niece Carlotta. His funeral will be held Thursday, May 21, at St. Anthony Catholic Church, Wanneroo, Australia followed by interment in Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.