Edmund Waddelove who died earlier this week was one of my greatest benefactors in that he brought about my conversion to a love of the traditional Latin Mass in 2002 when his sister Agnes died. He asked me to celebrate the Requiem Mass in the old rite. I agreed, and then realised that I had a short time to learn the ceremonies. (The late Michael Davies was at the funeral and afterwards supplied me with some altar cards and an instruction booklet.)
Edmund was a stalwart of the Latin Mass Society and always a manly, good-humoured critic of liberalism in the Church. The photograph above shows him (front, right) holding a collage of his children to be blessed by Blessed John Paul II whom he admired greatly.
I will be offering Mass for the repose of his soul (in the old rite, of course) and ask, of your charity, for prayers for him. May the Lord bring him speedily to the worship of heaven, the fulfilment of the Mass which he loved so dearly.
Here is an obituary, written by his son, Adrian, which speaks for itself:
Edmund Waddelove was one of five men who promised the local priest that the North Wales village of Bettws-y-Coed would have a Catholic church.
Along with a Forestry Commission colleague his contribution was to dig most of the foundation trenches with a pick and spade. Two used their professional expertise as electricians. The other was a builder.
“Our Lady of The Woods” was consecrated five years later, in 1961, but it became a matter of great sadness to Mr Waddelove in his old age when he learnt that the church had been closed.
His death, at 94, followed a debilitating eight years that began with shingles.
He was born in Leigh in Lancashire and educated at Thornleigh Salesian College in Bolton.
His service in World War II with the Royal Artillery included the defence of Hawkinge airfield in Kent during the Battle of Britain. He received his Officer Commission in 1943 but always thought himself fortunate that immediately after D-Day, when in transit for embarkation to Normandy, his unit was stopped because the Allied casualties had been lower than feared.
His 34 year career with the Forestry Commission began in 1947 and included 11 years on Gwydyr Forest at Bettws-y-Coed. He later spent six years in charge of Delamere in Cheshire and in 1969 was promoted to become Chief Forester at Clocaenog near Ruthin.
He remained a lifelong committed Catholic with one of his proudest moments coming in 1980 during the Ordinary General Synod on The Christian Family in Rome when he shook the hand of Pope John Paul II as the Pontiff blessed a photo montage of his children.
His first visit to Rome had been in the 1950 Holy Year and he returned in both 1975 and 1983, and was present in 1982 and 2002 for the ceremonies at which St Maximilian Kolbe and St Jose Maria Escriva were canonised. He travelled, too, to Fatima in 2000 for the seers' beatification.
And for 18 years he made a major contribution to the Latin Mass Society which kept alive the traditional liturgy after it was dropped following the Second Vatican Council until its 2007 restoration.
He offered to be the organisation's Diocesan Representative for Menevia in 1978 and soon combined this with the role in Shrewsbury, and later assumed responsibility for the new diocese of Wrexham, too, when that was formed.
Simultaneously he served on the LMS national committee for much of the period and became widely respected for his perseverance and attention to detail.
Mr Waddelove received a Papal Blessing from Pope John Paul II in 1996 in recognition of this work.
His wife, Bernadette, died in 1997 after 53 years of marriage. They lost their first child, Judith, just before her first birthday and for 12 years cared for their last, Jane, who was severely handicapped both mentally and physically.
He is survived by their adult children Paul, Bernard, Adrian and Steve, and Claire who entered the Benedictine Abbey at Ryde on the Isle of Wight in 1980, together with 14 grand-children and 15 great grand-children.
A traditional Latin Requiem Mass is to be celebrated at “Our Lady Help of Christians” in Ruthin at 11am on Tuesday October 22.