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A rich spiritual profile of one outstanding Australian Salesian:

Fr Bill Edwards (1928-2010)

By Fr Stephen Ardill, SDB

Port Lincoln, South Australia, 12 May 2019 -- Fr. Stephen Ardill (diocesan clergy of Port Pirie in South Australia), one of the ‘disciples’ of the late Fr Bill Edwards (1928-2010), Australian Salesian, Missionary in Samoa and Fiji, Vice-provincial, Rector, Principal, Teacher and Novice Master, published a 150 page wonderful book of memoirs in 2016. The contents are based mainly on the hundreds of letters written by Fr Bill during his whole life time mainly to his mother, friends or other Salesians, and on many personal testimonials collected during the two years editing work (2014-2016).

The memoirs are divided into seven chapters: The boy from Wollongong (New South Wales), A Salesian Vocation in the making; A rich life… lived in loving service of God and others; The power of the Pen; A missionary in the Pacific; Carrying the Cross and Ready for Heaven.

It’s an exciting reading of ‘G’Day Cobber, Dare to Be Saint!’ (Cobber, an Australian slang expression, was always found on the lips of Fr. Bill. It was a term of enduring affection referring to his friends), full of quotations from his letters dense with the Salesian spirit lived to the full during his 63 years of religious life and 44 years of priesthood:

  • Laughter and love are medicines for the mind and heart
  • Battles rage over whose turn is to do the dishes. But dishes are a constant reminder to be grateful for our daily bread.
  • Help us to be happy listeners!
  • Being present to people is so important. They don’t expect us to work miracles or have wonderful things to say… just being there helps!
  • I guess, prayers of thanks and praise are the best ones for us. They help us to be gradually convinced and feel that God loves us!

For those who like to get the publication illustrated with many documentary photos, just approach the author by email (







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