Sunday, August 19, 2007


Hello everyone,

I am writing to say I have completed two years of novitiate (seminary) at Grand Coteau, Louisiana. I took perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience as a Jesuit scholastic on Wednesday, August 15, feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Due to the demands of my fall seminary studies, I will not be reviving this website in the immediate future. But please keep an eye on the links and feel free to look for me on Facebook.

Immediately following vow day, I'll be pursuing an MA in philosophy at Loyola University of Chicago, where I will be stationed for the next three years. Please keep me in your prayers and feel free to drop me a line at my new address:

Sean Salai, S.J.
Loyola University Chicago
Gonzaga House Jesuit Community
6235 N. Kenmore Avenue
Chicago, IL 60660-2101

One last thing... At the vow Mass I took Ignatius of Loyola as my vow name, making this my full name:

Sean Michael Joseph Ignatius Salai, Society of Jesus.

Quite a mouthful, isn't it?


Vow day

Here are some photographs from my vow Mass on Wednesday, August 15, feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

Outdoor vow day photos

St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church is the Jesuit parish serving Grand Coteau, Louisiana. Here the parish is seen from the Jesuit cemetary in the rear.

Grand Coteau is home to several Jesuit communities: 1. The parish; 2. St. Charles College, which houses the novitiate and Jesuit Spirituality Center that offers directed retreats; and 3. Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House, which specializes in preached and couples' retreats.

Matthew Rarey, Wabash class of 2000, says a prayer in the Jesuit cemetary beside the tombstone of Fr. Tom Sherman, SJ, son of General William Tecumsah Sherman. The Yankee general's wife was a Catholic; Father Sherman is buried next to another Jesuit priest whose uncle was the Confederate Secretary of State during the US Civil War.

The front of St. Charles College and a statue of its patron, Cardinal Charles Borromeo, who was not a Jesuit although he was connected with many Jesuits. The cardinal gave first communion to St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a Jesuit seminarian and patron of youths who died ministering to plague victims in Rome.

Our Lady of the Way shrine, Grand Coteau. The Society administers the titular church of Our Lady of the Way in Rome; "the Way" is how the early Christians referred to themselves. Jesuits refer to Our Lady of the Way more often than to Saint Christopher when traveling.

Sacred Heart statue, Grand Coteau novitiate.

These are all shots of the grounds and other environs of St. Charles College, the Jesuit novitiate in Grand Coteau, Louisiana.

Official photos of this year's actual vow day ceremony can be viewed on the New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) website:

Additional vow photos


Dinner at Prejeans Restaurant.

A photo in front of St. Charles College, with the main drive to the street behind us.

A portrait of Ignatius sending Francis Xavier on his mission to India. Ignatius hands the mission crucifix to Xavier with one hand and points to the door with the other, an image of Jesuit life.

These are all photographs from our vow day, August 15, 2007.

More vow day photos

More of the same.

Grand Coteau photos

Some images of Jesuit sites in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, vow day 2007.

Interior of St. Charles Borromeo Jesuit parish, Grand Coteau, LA.

Our Lady of the Oaks Jesuit Retreat House, with a partial view of the courtyard and chapel, Grand Coteau, LA.

Entering the grounds of St. Charles College, home to the Jesuit novitiate and spirituality center. The New Orleans Province Jesuits ran a boys' high school here prior to converting the College into a novitiate in the early 1920s.

The old Jesuit cemetery is located in the back of the City of Grand Coteau cemetery. The graves here date to French missionaries who died in the 1800s.

Perpetual Vows in the St. Charles College Domestic Chapel, August 15, 2007.

Vow day video

Chris Broomall, Wabash College class of 1998, has posted a video of my profession of first vows on You Tube:

Jesuit seminarians of the South

Here's a photograph of every Jesuit seminarian (novice and scholastic) and priest without final vows in the New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus.

We took this photograph in December 2006 during our annual formation gathering at St. Charles College, Grand Coteau, Louisiana. The background is Our Lady of Lourdes grotto on the novitiate grounds.

More photos of Jesuit novitiate/seminary life can be found here:

Monday, August 08, 2005


This website is closed until if and when I begin my Jesuit philosophy studies in August 2007.

Beginning Sunday, our New Orleans Province novice class will spend two years at the Jesuit novitiate in Grand Coteau, Louisiana. For those who wish to contact any or all of us, here is the novitiate address and phone number:

St. Charles College
P.O. Drawer C
Grand Coteau, LA 70541

Tel: 337-662-5251.

My e-mail address is

By the way, Grand Coteau is home to the only Vatican-documented miracle on U.S. soil.

In 1866, ailing Sacred Heart novice Mary Wilson rose from her deathbed and attributed a miraculous cure to the prayers of Bl. John Berchmans, a Jesuit seminarian who died 250 years earlier. That miracle led to the canonization of Berchmans, now the patron saint of seminarians.

Beautiful old St. Charles College is right next to the St. John Berchmans shrine at Sacred Heart Academy, where Jesuit priests have served as chaplains to the nuns and their students for a long time.

Men considering the priesthood or religious life can see the shrine for themselves by visiting St. Charles College for a discernment retreat. The novices host two retreats every year.

For more information on discernment retreats or Jesuit life in general, contact our vocation director:

Fr. Marvin Kitten, S.J.
Jesuit Vocation Director
504.571.1055 (Work)
504.865.3935 (Home)


Thursday, July 14, 2005

No and yes

People are asking if I will continue "blogging" after Entrance Day, which is one month from today. The answer is no and yes.

Jason Brauninger and I will be shutting down our websites for the two years of novitiate. Our superiors may let us resume after first vows. Please check back in August 2007.

In the meantime, there are several Jesuit blogs linked here, including Mark Mossa S.J. from our New Orleans Province.

And there are many online resources for prayer and faith. Check out the Sacred Space link to the right.

Thanks and God bless.


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Passion play photos

In April, we did a living Stations of the Cross on Good Friday for the Sunday School kids at our Florida parish (Our Lady of Mercy).

The adults were watching the violent "Passion of the Christ" film inside the church during our production, so I was tapped to play Jesus Christ. Fortunately, the children went easier on me than the actors in the movie.


Just testing the computer. Here's a photograph of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Extreme Freud

A quiz on all five stages of Freudian pyschological development. My own results:

Freudian Inventory Results
Oral (60%) you appear to have a good balance of independence and interdependence knowing when to accept help and when to do things on your own.
Anal (40%) you appear to have a good balance of self control and spontaneity, order and chaos, variety and selectivity.
Phallic (56%) you appear to have a good balance of sexual awareness and sexual composure.
Latency (30%) you appear to be overly practical; don't undervalue abstract learning, abstract learning increases your ability to make good decisions (and predictions) in the real world so it would be 'impractical' to shun it.
Genital (53%) you appear to be somewhere between a progressive/openminded and regressive/closeminded outlook on life.
Take Free Freudian Inventory Test
personality tests by

Also from the quiz:

Freud theorized that there are 5 stages of psychological development. At the oral stage the main issue is dependency, at the anal stage the main issue is self control, at the phallic stage the main issue is sexual identity, at the latency stage it's skill development, and at the genital stage it's creativity and productivity.

Freud theorized that psychological problems are related to problems during one or more of these stages. For example, being too cared for or too neglected causes someone to be orally fixated, too much or too little control causes someone to be anally fixated, insufficient parental role modeling causes phallic fixation.

An orally fixated person is either irrationally dependent (expects what they want to just appear) or irrationally independent (always refuses help).

An anally fixated person is either irrationally self controlled and servile to authority or has no self control and is compulsively defiant of authority.

A phallicly fixated person is either a sexual compulsive (sexually innappropriate/promiscuous) or sexually repressed.

Freud did not classify any latent fixation but I think it is as plausible as those at the other stages. I speculate that people that like to learn and acquire knowledge without any purpose or people that are compulsively non curious represent both dysfunctional ends of the latency spectrum.

The genital stage is the final Freudian developmental stage and according to Freud people don't all succeed at this. Freud believed the ideal for human happiness is to be happy in love and work, problems in one or the other cause unhappiness.

Like any personality system, Freud's developmental levels are just a theory, so, be speculative about your results.

Monday, June 20, 2005


I just gave my two-week notice at work. And the relief and excitement I felt after finally broaching the topic of seminary far outweighed any anxiety beforehand.

To avoid creating discomfort in the workplace, I had kept quiet about the Jesuits after being accepted in January. As of this week, I'd been silent for exactly six months.

Friday, June 17, 2005

What am I doing?

Friends often ask what I will be doing for the next two years as a Jesuit novice.

While I like to explain the Jesuit novitiate as a sort of apprenticeship period, many still do not understand how it is any different from major seminary.

What am I doing for the next two years? Perhaps the best answer is that I will spend the time praying over these words:

Almighty and eternal God, I, NAME, though altogether most unworthy in your divine sight, yet relying on your infinite goodness and mercy and moved with a desire of serving you, in the presence of the most Holy Virgin Mary and your whole heavenly court, vow to Your Divine Majesty perpetual poverty, chastity and obedience in the Society of Jesus; and I promise that I shall enter the same Society in order to lead my entire life in it, understanding all things according to its Constitutions.

Therefore I suppliantly beg Your Immense Goodness and Clemency, through the blood of Jesus Christ, to deign to receive this holocaust in an odor of sweetness; and that just as you gave me the grace to desire and offer this, so you will also bestow on me abundant grace to fulfill it.

(Formula for first vows in the Society of Jesus. These vows are simple and perpetual, not temporary.)

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