The local Catholic community recently suffered a tough loss with the passing Dec. 27 of Msgr. Daniel Logan, who was a fixture throughout the Northeast Florida area, at 83 years old.
He left his mark on the residents of Ponte Vedra Beach after spending more than a decade as the head pastor at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church and helping expand the resources of Palmer Catholic Academy.
During his time overseeing Palmer, he was able to elevate the school to new heights, including being named a blue ribbon school within two years.
One of the common themes expressed when describing Logan, was that he was a teacher at heart, and it reflected in everything he did.
Some of the progress the academy made under his watch was the addition of a gym and a center for arts and music.
“He always encouraged me to dig deeper,” Palmer Principal Linda Earp said. “He had a way of making us all feel like we were part of the family.”
Words of advice offered by Logan that continue to resonate with Earp are “You never make it about yourself; you make it about everybody else. It’s not your school; it’s our school.”
Earp was happy that he was able to make one last trip to the school weeks before passing away.
The visit took place on Dec. 3, and he had lunch with Earp and a group of staff members.
“When he walked into a building, you smiled,” Earp said. “That’s just the type of person he was.”
Logan’s love for teaching harkens back to his days as a teacher and eventual president at Bishop Kenny High School from 1965 to 1989.
“He knew things and had a way of getting it across to people,” said Cindy Horine, a longtime parishioner at Our Lady Star of the Sea. “His mind was always thinking.”
As a result, Logan had a knack for always wanting to better current situations, which also meant having great foresight and the ability to have an excellent plan for the future.
“He knew which way he wanted to go, and he always went that direction,” longtime parishioner Ernie Bono said. “He was a holy priest you could go to for council, and he would tell you how it was. He had a positive influence on the parish, the Diocese (of St. Augustine) and the city of Jacksonville. He really made an impact on a lot of people.”
Prior to coming to Our Lady Star of the Sea in 1999, he founded Holy Family parish in Jacksonville in 1974.
Horine was working in the parish office when Logan was assigned to Our Lady Star of the Sea.
“I worked for him in multiple ways, but the best part were the Monday night meetings for about 10 years with the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program,” Horine said.
Some of the fondest memories Horine has pertain to Logan’s dog Pepper and how he took him most places with him, including the RCIA meetings.
“He went everywhere with him,” Horine said.
After Pepper, Logan rescued another dog, a mini-Sheltie named Lacy, who served a similar role.
“He was like the church’s pet,” parishioner Debbie Graham said.
Graham first met Logan when she was in the eighth grade and was a student at Bishop Kenny while Logan was president.
Her father was on the committees helping to raise funds and construct Holy Family. Because of her father’s close relationship, Logan became a close family friend and even brought her mother into the faith when she converted to Catholicism at 40 years old.
“He was a man of the people,” Graham said. “Anyone who experienced his teachings just raved about them. I’m blessed to have known him; he will be terribly missed.”
Bono was another that worked closely with Logan on many fundraising campaigns over the years.
He will always remember the relationship the two developed and will miss Logan calling him at night when he couldn’t sleep to discuss what was on his mind.
“My relationship with him was chippy at times, but it was a loving chippy,” Bono said. “How a friend would tease another. It was a unique relationship and one that I’ll always covet.”
One of the things Logan passed along to Bono is that life is not made of experiences but made of moments.
“I certainly had a lot of moments with him,” Bono said.