Fr Kevin Melville Mogg AM (SPC 1942-48)
March 29, 2022
We are saddened to learn of the passing of Fr Kevin Melville Mogg AM (SPC 1942-48) on February 26, 2022, just two months short of his 90th birthday.
Fr Kevin has been remembered for his over 65 years of generous and unfailing service as a priest, as a great mate and mentor to many, and a fierce advocate for the care of people pushed to the edges of the community by poverty and violence.
He served the local Church of Melbourne for more than 65 years and spent more than five decades as a leader in Catholic social services, founding Catholic Social Services Victoria (CSSV).
He was remembered by the Holy Spirit Parish in Ringwood North, where his funeral was held on 7 March, as a “a giant in the history of Holy Spirit Parish from 1979 to 2002 as well as many other organisations and to all that met him before, during and after this period”.
With well over 1000 people paying their respects at Fr Kevin’s funeral, this included four Old Collegians – Fr Dan Arundell (SPC 1945-48), Fr Gerard Dowling OAM (SPC 1949-50), John Deany (SPC 1949-53) and John Croft (SPC 1940-47, PY1949).
Kevin was a full-time boarder from Pascoe Vale along with his brothers Les (SPC 1942-48) (dec) and Russell (SPC 1948-51, PY1953) (dec).
Kevin was talented in tennis and handball during his time at SPC, named the Under 16 handball champion in 1947 and Under 15 handball champion in 1946. He was a member of the SPC Tennis Champions side in 1948, and a number of the Senior IV Tennis side. He was named the Under 16 Tennis Champion in 1947 and a member of the 1st IV Tennis team, and Under 15 Tennis Champion as well. Kevin was also involved in the St Vincent de Paul Society and the Literacy and Debating Society.
Kevin and Les both received Commonwealth Cadetships in 1948, and Kevin received a matriculation scholastic prize in 1948, finishing third-placed.
Fr Kevin was ordained on 22 July 1956 at St Patrick’s Cathedral and over the years spent time in various parishes around the Archdiocese including Bentleigh, Heidelberg West, Glen Waverley, Clayton, Ringwood North and Mornington.
In 1964, he was appointed Chaplain in the Youth Welfare Division of the Social Welfare Department and undertook further studies over the years in Rome, Chicago and the UK.
Upon his return to Melbourne, Fr Kevin was appointed Rector at Corpus Christi College (Glen Waverly and then Clayton), before being appointed as Parish Priest of Holy Spirit Ringwood North where he spent more than 20 years. He also served as Episcopal Vicar for Social Welfare.
Fr Kevin was a tireless and inspirational leader, educator, and advocate for the vulnerable. For 24 years he also served on the Board of CatholicCare and was a member of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council for 15 years.
Fr Joe Caddy AM, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Melbourne and former Chair of Catholic Social Services Australia, praised Fr Kevin’s 65 years of service, saying he ‘served in a very positive and pastorally enriching manner, giving fine example to both his brother priests and the community’.
Fr Kevin also served on the CatholicCare Board for 24 years from October 1991 and became an emeritus Board member from 2015. He was remembered for “an astounding impact in our community and within our CatholicCare Victoria family (and) his legacy will live on through the compassionate work of Catholic Social Services, bringing hope to those most vulnerable on the fringes of society“.
To read the full CatholicCare tribute, click here
In January 2019, Fr Kevin celebrated the launch of his book, An Enabling Life, with friends, family and colleagues. The book captures the journey of his ministry and vision in an insightful and engaging account. Author Anne Tuohey – who first met Fr Kevin when she started work at CSSV – worked with him to bring this book to life and collate the stories and thoughts that portray his astonishing life’s work.
Speaking of Fr Kevin’s death, Anne wrote: ‘We’ve lost a beautiful, welcoming, thoughtful, inclusive priest and man who really understood social justice and community strengthening, long before these words were merely catchphrases.’
The tribute to Fr Kevin Mogg from the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne can be read in full here
Fr Kevin was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2000, was inducted as a SPC Legend in 2002 and made a Member of the Order of Australia, receiving an AM in 2004 for his work in the community. He celebrated his 65th anniversary of ordination in 2021.