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:
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