Br. Edwin Flynn died at 6.30 a.m. on 27th August 2022.
James Cornelius Flynn was born in Cork on the 28th August 1927, and joined the Capuchin Order in October 1954, taking the name Edwin. Following his perpetual profession as a Capuchin (1948), and ordination to the priesthood (1952) He studied at London University, where he obtained a post-graduate Certificate in Education, and education was to become a passion in his life, as it had been in the life of his uncle, Fr. Killian Flynn.
Br Edwin volunteered for the Livingstone Mission in what was then Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, and arrived at Sancta Maria Mission, Lukulu, on the 22nd October 1953. The following year, he was appointed Principal of the Teacher Training College there. In 1961 he was transferred to St John’s Secondary School in Katongo, Mongu, where he acted as Principal until 1967 when the school was entrusted to the Irish Christian Brothers.
Br. Edwin spent a year at the Gaba Pastoral Institute where he completed a Diploma in Catechetics and Pastoral Studies. Returning to Zambia, he devoted himself to producing catechetical material for catechists and the training of catechists. Later he played an important role in devising a syllabus for religious education in primary and secondary schools, and in establishing a Centre for Religious Studies in the University of Lusaka. This led him to reasearch into African traditional Religions, an interest he continued to pursue for the rest of his life, during his stay in Zambia and after his return to Ireland in 2008.
Br. Edwin had a deep love for the African people and an appreciation of their cultural traditions. And, as a born teacher, he tried to instil a similar appreciation among his students, both in the university and in St. Bonaventure College, Makeni, a joint formation centre for thhe three main branches of the Franciscan family: the Conventuals, the Observants and the Capuchins.
He was gifted with a generous heart and a willing ear to listen to anyone with problems. His courtesy and kindness reached out to all. We are grateful for the talents with which the Lord endowed him, the gifts that he received, the gifts that he shared and the gift that he was.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.