Fr. Edlefsen Excited about Returning to High School

A bad day in the classroom is better than a good day in any office, according to Father Frederick Edlefsen. As the incoming chaplain at Bishop O?Connell High School in Arlington, he should have plenty of time to test his theory. For the 40-year-old priest, who has spent the first four years of his priesthood as parochial vicar at St. James Parish in Falls Church, it will be a return to the high school environment. He taught at Msgr. McClancy High School in Queens, N.Y., before his ordination. "Outside of the priesthood, it was the best job I ever had," he said. High school is like going home for Father Edlefesen, whose father taught high school English. He would visit his dad at work, and said it was like entering another world. Working with teens has been a large part of Father Edlefsen?s work at the Falls Church parish. He led a teen Bible discussion for several years and took his parish group to World Youth Day in Toronto three years ago. Prior to his seminary years, he was active in youth ministry work, as a chaperone and speaker at retreats. Father Edlefsen believes the biggest challenge will be helping the students with the difficulties they face. He looks forward to getting to know the students and faculty, and he hopes to extend his work day into being present for sporting events and club activities. "I?m very fortunate to be following in the footsteps of Father (Michael) Taylor," said Father Edlefsen, adding that he often helped Father Taylor with Friday confessions. With a short commute from St. James Parish, Father Edlefson will become a part of what he calls O?Connell?s "good team."

Copyright ?2005 Arlington Catholic Herald.  All rights reserved.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2005