Catholic Life

Vaughan students learn devotion to Our Lady

Cardinal Vaughan students with Fr John Edwards at Farm Street (Photo: Patrick Fleischer)

Charisma is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others”. If the OED ever made a picture dictionary, who better to illustrate the term than Fr John Edwards?

Fr Edwards is a master retreat-giver. Almost as young as the Pope, Fr Edwards seems to have an endless reserve of zeal for Our Lady and her mission.

Ninety boys from the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School in West London attended retreats with him this month.

At a time when the Mass translation is going through a few changes to clarify language Fr Edwards took boys through the Holy Sacrifice step by step, explaining customs, rituals, signs and symbols in intricate detail.

“When I teach the Mass,” one RE teacher said, ‘it is one thing. But Fr John teaches as he says it and the boys remember every word because you know he believes what he teaches and loves what it gives us: Jesus!”

Fr Edwards also conveyed the importance of saying the rosary and told boys about the story of Fatima.

“If you ever feel bored by it, boys, don’t worry,” he said. “It is not about your feelings. It is about what you intend to give her, regardless of how you feel about it.”

He suggested that, if they were not accustomed to saying the rosary very often, they start with one decade a day. “It only takes you about three minutes,” he said.

He gave them rosary beads and a rosary pamphlet, published by Crown of Thorns.

The boys said the rosary in Farm Street Church of the Immaculate Conception in central London.

They offered their intentions for the famine sufferers in East Africa, their families, the leaders of Britain, the aborted and Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School.