Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Just lead..., we will follow

And so it came to pass, our group had six members make Perpetual Promises on this past Sunday - Pentecost.  This is our patronal feast and the Holy Spirit did indeed descend.

That being said, I was not quite in tune to that fact at about 1:50PM.  To set the scene, we have processed from the chapel to the front door of the cathedral.  Mass starts promptly at 2PM, with the additional blessing of Msgr. Slade Crawford and Msgr. Michael Tugwell con-celebrating the mass with our Religious Advisor Fr. John Cayer.  I am standing just inside the cathedral.  Between me and the altar is my brother Mr. William Cowdrey, OP standing with our processional banner.  To my right, the priests and their procession are exiting the sacristy ready to start mass.  Sitting in the pews are about double the amount of people I thought would be here.  In the entry of the church is a broken line of Lay Dominicans trying to enter the church while being pushed around by folks arriving just in time for mass.

The idea is to chant the Litany of St. Dominic while processing up the aisle to our seats.  Due to the fact that the best voices in our group are making promises, I decided a while back to lead the litany myself.  I have never been a cantor - even when I lead the Liturgy of the Hours in community, I have never toned the readings or prayers.  After surveying the situation, my only thought was "I am going to start singing and NOBODY is going to sing the responses."  I turned around and tried to get everyone's attention to no avail.

At this point, my brother Mr. Fred Salancy, OP, casually looked at me and said "just lead..., we will follow," which is exactly what I did.  I made an about face, touched Br. Cowdrey on the shoulder to start him walking and sang out.  I felt very shaky at first, but as we started walking toward the altar, I felt a power lifting me outside myself.  I heard the group get stronger with each step.  Judging by the eyes looking at us from the pews, I thought that if I turned around I would see the tongues of flame on the heads of all in our procession. The Holy Spirit was there - over and within that procession.  St. Dominic and St. Catherine were lined up before us, as were the countless Holy Dominicans who have gone this way before.  They have led us, and we heeded their call to follow.  By the time I got to the front of the cathedral, I felt like we had joined the heavenly host under the mantle of our Blessed Mother, singing the most divine of praises arm-in-arm with our brothers and sisters who have gone before. 

In retrospect, Fred's few words could be a charge to all of us in our Dominican charism.  We are called to preach.  Preaching means leading.  If we do not do this, we are failing both our promise to the Rule and to our heavenly Father.  Today's secular society is teeming with lost people looking for direction.  Even those who are regulars at church need some direction.  Just lead, they will follow.

Pentecost 2014 - Rite of Perpetual Promise

(back row, L-R): Msgr. Slade Crawford, Mr. David White, Mrs. Polly White, Mr. Michael Pearson, OP, Mr. Mark Dunn, OP, Mr. Jody Finklea, OP, Mr. Bill Cowdrey, OP, Mrs. Dolores Henderson, Mrs. Maureen O'Brien, COL Jo Ann Cotterman, OP, USA (ret), Msgr. Michael Tugwell
(middle row, L-R) Fr. John Cayer, Ms. Vikki Shackleford, Mrs. Carol Cline, OP, Mrs. Norma O'Meara, OP, Mrs. Ann Salancy, OP, Ms. Candice Ochoa, Mrs. Maureen Antworth, OP, Mr. Lee Bowersox, OP
(front row) Mr. William O'Meara, OP
(not pictured) Deacon Jerry Haynes

Monday, May 19, 2014

Dominican Rite of Perpetual Promise

The Officers and Members of
Lay Dominicans del Espiritu Santo
invite you to the

Dominican Rite of Perpetual Promise
within the sacrifice of the mass

Pentecost Sunday
June 8, 2014
2 PM
Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More
Tallahassee, Florida

Fr. John Cayer
Rector, Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More

Master of Ceremonies
COL Jo Ann Cotterman, USA (Ret), O.P.
Southern Dominican Province

Candidates for Perpetual Promise
Mr. Mark Dunn, O.P.
Mr. Jody Lamar Finklea, O.P.
Mrs. Norma O'Meara, O.P.
Mr. Michael Pearson, O.P.
Mrs. Ann Salancy, O.P.
Mr. Francis J. Salancy, O.P.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Stations at Mission San Luis

On April 11, 2013, Lay Dominicans del Espíritu Santo hosted a community Stations of the Cross event at Mission San Luis in Tallahassee. Mission San Luis is a living history museum on the site of a seventeenth century Spanish colonial mission (official website: The museum has reconstructed many structures including a plaza (with Stations of the Cross), a mission church, and a Franciscan friary. The Stations for this event started and ended in the church, with a traditional procession around the plaza. Over sixty people attended the event, including Fr. John Cayer (Group Religious Advisor and Rector of Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More) and a contingent from the Sacred Heart Catholic home education group. It is planned to make this an annual event.

Group members in attendance: Mr. Lee Bowersox, OP (President); Mr. Jody Finklea, OP (Vice-President); Mrs. Ann Salancy, OP (Secretary-Treasurer); Mr. Michael Pearson, OP (Past President); Mr. Bill Cowdrey, OP

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


CITIUS - ALTIUS - FORTIUS. You may recognize these words as the Olympic motto which translate into English as FASTER - HIGHER - STRONGER.  What you may not know is that they were coined by a French Dominican priest.
fr. Henri Didon, O.P.

fr. Henri Didon was a Dominican priest, author, educator, and well-known homilist.  He was born in Touvet, France in 1840.  fr. Didon was no stranger to controversy, as some of his homilies earned him a seven year "retreat" from public ministry at the direction of the Master of the Order.  He spent this time mostly in Corsica and Palestine working on his most famous work, Life of Christ.  In 1887, he returned to France, then completed and published  Life of Christ in 1890.  The work achieved great acclaim and sales, and was translated into many languages.  fr. Didon was able to return to ministerial work and devoted much of the remainder of his life to the education of youth.  Later in life he published works on educational theory, some sermons, and personal religious letters to great acclaim.  fr. Didon went to his heavenly reward on March 13, 1900 in Toulouse, France.

Medal from the 1948 Olympic Games in St. Moritz
So, how is fr. Didon connected with the modern Olympic movement?  In 1881, Pierre de Coubertin attended a school sporting event where the opening remarks were delivered by fr. Didon.  In his remarks, fr. Didon used the Latin CITIUS - ALTIUS - FORTIUS to represent the moral and ethical ideals of this or any athletic endeavor.   These words stuck with de Coubertin, who founded the International Olympic Commitee and is credited as the father of the modern games.  He chose these words as the Olympic motto. 

So as we prepare for the Sochi Games, don't forget fr. Henri Didon - a man who pointed the way towards the Olympic ideal.

For Additional Information:
New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia Article on fr. Henri Didon
International Olympic Committee - Olympism in Action Website
International Pierre de Coubertin Committee Website