Monsignor Robert Rice '49

Written on the 23 May 2018 by Old Collegians Association

Monsignor Robert Rice '49

Excerpt from 2006 Rostrevor Magazine

Mgr Robert Rice celebrated his 50th Jubilee as a Parish Priest on the 16th July in 2006 at St Bernadette's Church, St. Mary's.

From the 1956 Annual: Few of our ex­ pupil priests have had such close association with the College. Robert Rice attended Rostrevor for 6 years from 1944 to 1949. In his last year he was Head Prefect. He studied at St Francis Xavier's Seminary and St Patrick's College, Manly, and was ordained on July 21st this year. His proud mother and sister Patricia were present at his second Mass at Rostrevor.

Monsignor Robert Rice


Monday July 23rd was another red­ letter day. Fr Rice celebrated Mass with Fr. Mark, Deacon, and Fr Benedict, CP (Kevin Smith), Sub-Deacon. The Master of Ceremonies was Fr. Peter Ward and also present were Fr's. Tom Horgan and G. Healy. After Mass the two priests gave their blessing to the Brothers and boys. Then all the visitors were entertained to breakfast in the Reception Room, Matron Duggan providing the sumptuous repast for which she has become famous.

Prefect, John Mcinnes, after a few well-chosen words on behalf of the students, made appropriate presentations to Fr's Mark and Rice. Both priests then addressed the boys, expressing their gratitude to the Brothers for all they had received at Rostrevor. They urged the boys to remain always faithful to the high principles inculcated during their school days, and expressed the hope

that some present would follow them to the altar or enter religious life as Christian Brothers. They then made the occasion even more memorable by asking for and receiving, on behalf of the boys, the customary holiday. This brought to a happy close another great day in the annals of Rostrevor.

From the 1949 Annual - Combined Athletics Team
Front Row: P Vivian, s Hayles
Second Row: K Ryan, P Pak Pay, N Bergamin, F Murphy (Captain), W Braitling, M O'Donnell, D Meegan
Third Row: R Rice, D Paley, P Martin, E Hamra, B Spain, B Murphy, A Dunn, D Guerin
Front Row: P Polomka, B Kain, W Fisher, J Barns, C Gipp Inset: V Moriarty


I was born in Adelaide on 9 April 1932 and commenced school in the Catholic school at Jamestown in 1937. Next, I attended the public school at Wolseley for three years before moving successively to the Catholic schools at Terowie and Port Pirie, I completed primary school at Keswick and gained my Qualifying Certificate in 1943. I commenced at Rostrevor in 1944 in what was then First Year Intermediate. In my final year, 1949, I was Head Prefect and a member of the First X and First XI.

In 1950 I entered St Francis Xavier's Seminary, Stradbroke Park and studied philosophy for three years. Next, I attended St Patrick's College, Manly, NSW for four years of theology. On 21st July 1956, I was ordained to the priesthood in St Francis Xavier's Cathedral, Adelaide by the then Archbishop Matthew Beovich.

My first appointment was as an Assistant Priest at Bright on and I commenced there on Christmas Eve 1956. On 3 March 1962 I moved to Peters also as an Assistant Priest. On January 1966, I moved to Glenelg as the administrator of what was then the Archbishop's parish. On 25 January 1974 I went to Mount Gambier as Parish Priest and Dean of the South East. 

During my time at Mount Gambier I was awarded a Jordan-Kennedy scholarship to study at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. There I recieved an MA in the School of Theology in 1982. On 24 January 1994 I was transferred to the Croydon Parish. During my time there I succeeded in becoming the Croydon and Mansfield Park Parishes. On 4 May 2003 I was transferred to the St Marys Parish. I am due to retire, at the age of 75, about the of 2006.On 14 September 2005 I was constituted a Chaplain of His Holiness with the title of Monsignor.

I donate a sports prize each year to the College. It is known as the Dean Rice Prize and is given for Athletic Excellence (recent winners include: Julian Boden, Mason Sommerville, Christopher Pahl x 2 and Scott Boden Ed.) 

For many years I played golf at Grange Golf Club with Br John Bourke who taught me during my time at Rostrevor. He recently wrote to me offering his congratulations on my becoming a Monsignor. He will soon be 93 years of age. 

I recall with special affection Brother O'Sullivan who taught me in Intermediate. He was very encouraging and supportive as a teacher. His class was what is called today a 'no put down area'.


From the 1933 Annual:                     From the 1941 Annual:
Head Prefect Jim Rice                     1st XVIII Lawrence Rice

Congratulations Fr Bob Rice. Red & Black caught up with Fr Bob Rice to offer congratulations and to seek a little more insight into his life while at Rostrevor. Bob Rice was one of two children (sister, Patricia who attended St Aloysius College). He is not certain as to how Rostrevor was chosen for his secondary education but assumes that older first cousins Jim Rice, Head Prefect and Captain of the 1st XVIII and 1st XI in 1933 and Lawrence Rice (Prefect in 1941-2) were the catalysts for his parent's decision.

In 1944 Mgr Bob travelled from Keswick by tram and for the next four years but in his fifth year he became a Boarder. His First-Year teacher was a Br M M Ryan who, to say the least, was eccentric. For part of Second Year he had a lay teacher who was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of his class. It was not until Intermediate under the nurturing of Br O'Sullivan that Bob identified his intellect
potential and developed a love of learning.

Bob attended under the Headmasterships of Bros Mogg, (1943- 45), Carroll (194647) and Rooney (1948-49). It was Br Rooney who inaugurated the College motto 'Palma Merenti'. 

Bob had a great deal of affection for the work of Matron Duggan and when he and fellow old scholar Fr John Swann were made Monsignors on 2005, Bob received a letter from Kevin Duggan
(Justice Duggan) congratulating him on his recognition and noting that the honour had been bestowed on his mother's 'two favourite students'.

Mgr Bob still uses the oil stock (receptacle for sacramental oils) presented to him by the Brothers on the occasion of his first Mass at Rostrevor in 1956. In recent years Mgr Bob has spent many hours researching the lives of all the Bishops of Adelaide. On its completion it will be the first collective discourse of the lives and influences of Adelaide's Catholic Bishops.

When Red & Black inquired as to the stimulus for his wonderful vocation, Fr Bob stated that he was reared in a household that faithfully attended Sunday Mass and recited the family rosary regularly. These facts plus Catholic schools provided the 'atmosphere' that led him to the priesthood.

From the 1956 Annual:
Fr Robert Rice

The ROCA congratulates Monsignor Bob on his special achievement. Those who know him will appreciate the tremendous light he has brought to people's lives through his faith and down to earth devotion to his work and will join in being thankful for and celebrating his 50 years in the service of God. 'Palma Merenti'.



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Author:Old Collegians Association


Glen Stuart Rd Woodforde Sa 5072 Australia


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