Michael John McGuire was born in Limerick on 10 June 1944. He was educated at Clarecastle NS, CBS Limerick and St Kieran’s, Bray. He joined the Christian Brothers and spent four years at the Training College in Marino, Dublin. He then spent two years teaching in Ferns. In 1968 he applied to join the Columbans and was ordained priest on 2 April 1972.
Assigned to the Philippines, he served as assistant in St Michael’s Parish, Iligan City from 1972 to 1976. He was then assigned to further studies in Rome, initially in Spirituality and later in the Institute of Psychology at the Gregorian University until June 1980. His next appointment was to the Irish Initial Formation Team in Maynooth where he served until 1988.
In January 1988 he was reassigned to the Philippines where he became Director of the Spiritual Year and Personal Supervisor of the Theology Students in Manila. He also served as Regional Coordinator of Lay Mission, and in years that followed served two terms as Vice-Director of the Region. He visited many other Regions and Mission Units doing retreats, seminars on living vocation, and facilitating group communications.
Michael also played an important role in setting up the Formators’ Training Programme in Myanmar in 2002 at the request of Bishop Paul Grawng and he continued to support it for many years until there were enough indigenous staff to keep it going.
Since his return to the Philippines in 1988 he has been a staff member of Our Lady of Peace Guidance Centre where his work of counselling has helped a huge number of seminarians, priests, Sisters and lay persons.
Good humoured, highly skilled and empathetic, Michael wrote that much of his mission work was “at the private, personal and secluded level”, but nevertheless it constituted a unique contribution to Columban Mission in the Philippines.
He viewed his extensive travels in the Orient as an outreach by Columbans in the Philippines to help neighbouring churches.
Michael died in his sleep on 10 October 2023 and he was buried in the Columban plot in Paranaque Cemetery, Manila, Philippines.
May he rest in peace.
Memorial Mass for Fr Michael McGuire at Dalgan Park (Ireland) on 28th October 2023.