BY ELIZABETH WONG BARNSTEAD, THE WESTERN KENTUCKY CATHOLIC
Logan Davis’s sister, Haley Davis, is the one who discovered the journal.
They hadn’t known that Logan had kept a journal. And “it wasn’t something that was filled with lots of pages,” said their mother, Karla Davis.
But among the pages, they found the following words:
“My God, my God, I love you. I love you. There is no words I can use to express my wanting to be with you in heaven, the goal and our destiny. I’m ready whenever you call my spirit home, its yours. I ask that when you call me home that everyone will be happy not sad, for they will know that we love them. Until this moment I’ll keep praying. I’ll keep loving you even if it’s tomorrow or a thousand years.”
There was no date on the entry, and they determined it had been several years since Logan had touched the journal.
But it was clear that “he wasn’t scared to put that stuff down on paper,” said Haley.
She said that some notes found on his cellphone had similar spiritual reflections: “Maybe not like a collective journal, nothing daily, but he wasn’t ashamed for sure to put that stuff down.”
That entry, said Karla, “has touched a lot of people.”
One of the best
The community at Owensboro Catholic High School – and all throughout western Kentucky – was shaken by the news of football player and rising senior Logan Allen Davis’s death on July 11, 2020 following a one-vehicle auto accident.
The 6-foot-3, 320-pound offensive guard and defensive tackle had just turned 18 on May 5.
After the Owensboro Catholic School System posted the news of Logan’s passing on its Facebook page, the post was quickly flooded with comments offering condolences and prayers, as well as witnesses of the young man’s faith.
Sharon Johnson, a teacher at Owensboro Catholic Schools’ K-3 Campus, commented that not only was Logan one of her favorite students, but “one of my favorite people.”
“The kindest heart and the brightest smile,” wrote Johnson. “Logan preached kindness and compassion to everyone from the time he was in kindergarten way before it was ever put on a sign reminding you to do so. My love and prayers for the entire Davis family and our OC family. We have lost one of the best.”
Diocesan seminarian Deacon Corey Bruns, who had gotten to know Logan as a camper when Deacon Bruns was working at Gasper River Catholic Youth Camp and Retreat Center, posted on his own Facebook timeline that “Logan was a wonderful young man who truly loved the Lord.”
“I always enjoyed seeing him at the different youth events across the diocese and hearing how the Lord was moving in his life,” wrote Deacon Bruns. “May he have the joy of seeing the Lord he loved and served face to face and may eternal rest be his.”
The funeral Mass was held outdoors on July 15 at Steele Stadium in Owensboro, officiated by Fr. Jason McClure, OCHS chaplain; and Fr. John Vaughan, pastor of Immaculate Parish where the Davis family are members.
According to a July 16 story by the Messenger-Inquirer, approximately 1,000 mourners filled the stands.
The funeral programs that were distributed contained a copy of the journal entry that Haley and Karla had found.
From deep within
Logan’s friends have told Karla that her son had often said he wasn’t afraid of dying.
“And he would tell them that he thought he would be the first one to die,” said Karla in an Aug. 13, 2020 interview with The Western Kentucky Catholic.
“I don’t know where that comes from,” said Karla. “Most people at that age don’t even consider that kind of stuff.”
Then again, Karla and Haley know Logan wasn’t like most people his age.
“He’s been that way for a long time,” said Karla, adding that Logan had attended Catholic school since kindergarten and had participated in many youth ministry opportunities, as well as benefitting from attending church as a family.
And Gasper River, said Karla, “was huge for him.”
She said Logan had attended the diocesan camp and retreat center located near Bowling Green as soon as he was old enough, “and he absolutely loved it.”
“I feel like that deepened his faith a lot, but I feel like something, too, came from within him,” said Karla. “A lot of that he developed on his own.”
Haley added that, “even just small things, like when he was younger, wearing a crucifix around his neck all the time,” were a testament to the faith of her brother, who also wore a scapular every day.
From a young age Logan would talk about becoming a priest, and while perhaps that wasn’t his most recent plan, Haley said the priesthood “definitely was something he considered for a long time and was open to.”
This was also apparent when Logan made his Confirmation, and he chose the name Paul after St. Paul, the early Church evangelist.
Bishop William F. Medley has a tradition during the Confirmation liturgy of reading excerpts from letters that the confirmandi write to him. The portion he selected from Logan’s had included the statement that, “I’m aware that God might be calling me to be a priest.’”
“He wanted to learn, too,” said Haley. “He wanted to learn all about (the Catholic faith). He would read things, and ask questions, and was truly interested in all of it.”
Haley said she always felt a sense of responsibility for her brother, four years her junior, but as he grew up the roles were reversed.
“Even his friends would say that he was very protective of both of us,” she said.
She and her mother have learned that Logan would talk about the two of them all the time with his friends – who were nicknamed “the Bros.”
“His friends all said, ‘Logan loved you guys so much,’” said Karla, who would receive a text message every day from Logan telling her that he loved her. “We told them the same, because he adored his friends.”
Karla said her son “loved with everything he had,” and wanted to “help people have strong faith and a strong relationship with God.”
Haley described her brother as “selfless,” explaining that from time to time, if someone texted Logan with a problem, “he was right there; he was all about it.”
“Or maybe there was a kid who didn’t have a huge group of friends like he did, and they were having a rough night, so he would bring them along,” said Haley. “Just things like that. He was unapologetically himself. He didn’t care what people thought.”
An anonymous gift
“That” journal entry of Logan’s went viral on social media following the funeral.
And recently, some of Karla’s friends from back in college came to visit her. They brought her a gift.
It turned out that a friend-of-a-friend had seen the social media post with Logan’s journal entry. This friend, who remained anonymous, made something for Karla.
It was a piece of wood with the journal entry engraved on it, “and they got a copy of Logan’s signature and put it on there,” said Karla.
“I don’t know who it’s from; it was somebody not even ‘here’ who was so touched by that journal entry and his faith and how deep his faith was,” she added. “That was probably my favorite gift I’ve ever received.”
Karla said that the more that journal entry “gets out there,” she feels “the more people it will touch.”
“It sounds like it was written by somebody way beyond his years,” she said.
Karla told a story about a young girl who approached her at the funeral home and told her, “I’m not Catholic, but Logan and I had a big conversation not that long ago about religion and faith,” changing the girl’s “whole outlook.”
“She was now more into her faith,” said Karla. “Just… oh my gosh, this is crazy for an 18-year-old… and even older people have made comments about being drawn to him, or about how they admired him and how he lived his faith,” she said.
“It’s overwhelming, it’s humbling to think of the impact he’s had on people,” said Karla.
‘Coach, how are you doing?’
Athletic director says he will miss ‘Big 68’
Jason Morris, athletic director and head football coach of Owensboro Catholic High School, said that in his 17 years of coaching, “I never coached a player more committed to outwardly living life in a way that expressed his faith in Jesus” than Logan Davis.
“Logan was a kind, caring, and compassionate teammate and friend,” said Morris. “He never wanted to do anything that would displease someone, especially one of his friends or coaches.”
Morris said the young man’s smile would “light up a room” and make “everybody’s purpose seem a little bit clearer.”
“I always knew that when I didn’t have the words to say at the time, that I could always count on Logan to go to for prayers,” said Morris.
Morris said that without a doubt, these past few weeks since the 18-year-old’s death have been the hardest in his coaching career.
“The relationships that I build with my players are special to me and the relationship that I built with Logan over the past four years was special as well,” said Morris. “Logan would always ask, ‘Coach, how are you doing?’ I never once thought he was asking out of habit, but he genuinely wanted to know how Coach was doing and he cared.”
“Words cannot describe the kind of coaches’ love that I have for Logan and I am genuinely going to miss Big 68,” said Morris.
Originally printed in the September 2020 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.
Copyright © 2020 Diocese of Owensboro/The Western Kentucky Catholic