25th ANNIVERSARY (1976-2001)
Profile of Fr. Allen
Very Rev. Joseph P. Allen, O.P., Provincial Promoter of Dominican Laity, Saint Joseph Province, U.S.A.
Very Rev. Joseph P. Allen, O.P.
Allen was born on February 13, 1938. He entered the Order of Friars
Preachers and professed his vows on August 16, 1961. His ordination to the priesthood was celebrated on June 8, 1967.
The following article was published in "Torch-lites" Newsletter of the Dominican Laity, Saint Joseph's Province, July-August, 1976.
"The Very Reverend Joseph P. Allen, O.P. has been recently appointed as our Provincial Director. He comes to the newly appointed position with a deep sense of concern for the Third Order of St. Dominic and realization that the Provincial and council have placed a gread deal of hope and trust in his capabilities to administer to the demanding needs of the Dominican Laity in a changing Church.
Father Allen is Subprior and Economic Administrator of the Dominican House of Studies and also a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer for the national Institute of the word of God. Father has previously assisted with the administrative work of the Third Order on the Provincial level at the time of Father Norbert Wendell's death in 1970 while an associate pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer Church, New York City, and treasurer of the Dominican Boys Camp, Stattsburg, New York.
He is presently working with the Dominican Laity in Washington-Baltimore area and is regional coordinator for the Interfraternity of Third Orders and oblates in the Archdioceses, a group of some twenty religious Third Orders that was established in 1974 under his direction as a means for promoting interest in the devotions and spirituality of Religious Orders.
Father brings to the Third Order of St. Dominic not only tremendous administrative capabilities but also talents for imaginative planning, coupled with intense zeal for both personal and community spiritual renewal which he sees as the urgent need of the Church today. We know he will make a most important contribution to the fruitfulness of the tertiary apostolate. We are indeed happy to welcome Father Allen as the Promoter and Director and that Father Terence Quinn, O.P., his Provincial, for this appointment."
In addition to Fr. Allen's pastoral duties in a very large parish in Ohio, Father continues to be dedicated the Dominican Laity.
Father Allen serves as the Provincial Director of the Dominican Laity, and the Administrator of the National Institute for the Word of God, both centered in Washington, DC. He is also the President and spiritual director of the Confraternity of the Rosary for Sick and Handicapped Pilgrims to Lourdes.
Father Allen has shepherded the Third Order with genuine love and dedication over the past twenty-five years. His role as shepherd and spiritual advisor is evident in his all his messages published in the Saint Joseph Province Newsletter--Torch-lites, In the 1998 Oct-Nov-Dec issue he writes; "As we prepare the last issue of Torch-lites for this year, it should be of value to our readers to evaluate just how responsible we have been to such questions as: have we been faithful to our vocation as members of the Third Order? Have we been faithful to our spiritual reading and our study programs as designated by our chapter formation team? What personal efforts have I made to help develop an on-going program of formation at chapter meetings: I could go on!
During the Fall months I shall be doing a number of retreats and regional visitation programs. It is during these days and weekends that I have the opportunity to discuss openly your concerns and observations regarding Dominican Chapter Life. Although my time to move about the province on a weekly basis is now very limited, I am still trying to communicate and visit with each of the regional councils and have asked that these dates be determined and set in coordination with my own calendar when possible. I would continue to request that this procedure be the norm when setting up your regional meetings.
Again, I invite your comments and recommendations concerning our Dominican vocation and chapter life and know that I might want to share these thoughts with our readers within the pages of future issues of Torch-lites."
Father challenged all members of the Dominican laity to do something special for the Jubilee Year 2000. All Chapters accepted the challenge. The Mother of God Chapter held a Eucharistic Vigil at the Dominican Nuns monastery New year's Eve to welcome in the Jubilee Year. The Immaculate Conception Chapter at the House of Studies in Washington, DC accepted the challenge and organized the first province-wide Pilgrimage since 1992 which occurred on April 28-30, 2000.
The Dominican Rosary Pilgrimage was held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The photo in the the lower right shows members of our Chapter in front of the Basilica.
Other significant accomplishments:
Designer of Formation Program for Saint Dominic's Tertiaries in Saint Joseph's Province, U.S.A.
The following is a brief history/summary of events that took place under the guidance of Fr. Allen in an
effort to formulate and establish the first structured Formation Program in the Saint Joseph Province.
A brief history of the Dominican Laity Formation Program established by Fr. Allen in the Saint Joseph Province:
Brief History of Formation Program
A Brief History on the Development of the St. Joseph Province Dominican Laity Formation Program
The following are excerpts from letters written by Fr. Joseph P. Allen, O.P., Provincial Promoter, as published in the St. Joseph Province Dominican Laity Torch-lites Newsletters.
"The newly appointed Formation Council and their initial meeting took place January 31 through February 3, 1985, at the Mother of God Monastery, West Springfield, Massachusetts. The selection of the membership was made after much consideration and discussion with various members of the chapters and with members of the Provincial Council. The rpesent membership consists of the following: Fr. Joseph P. Allen, OP, Fr. Augustine DiNoia, OP, Fr. Gabriel O'Donnell, OP (Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC), Josephine M. Kelly (Bayside, NY), Cynthia (Marcy) Mullen (Quincy, MA), Catherine panza (Havre de Grace, MD), Paul Russell (Kendall Park, NJ), Mary Sheehy (Annapolis, MD), and Doris Stukes (Washington, DC).1
The working sessions of the Formation Council developed a program which includes: lesson plans for postulancy, novitiate, temporary profession and on-going formation. Each of these sessions will develop materials for chapter members to read, study and reflect upon together."2
"During the month of February, 1986, the Formation council of the Province met at the Dominican House of Studies to evaluate the responses and to begin the Novitiate formation program which includes 10 sessions/modules"3.
In the presentation of these topics and the discussions which should be a part of the program at each chapter gathering, it is the option of the designers of this novitiate program that you will be building upon much of the materials previously developed during the six postulancy presentations. Therefore, it is obvious that this program must be preceded by the postulancy program."4
"We are all working together to develop this program which will hopefully produce more informed lay Dominicans....Again I wish to acknowledge with deepest gratitude the work undertaken by the Formation council and their commitment for the overall direction that this program is taking at this time. The cooperation of all chapters and tertiaries is so very necessary if the councilors are to continue with this urgent and very important work."5
1Torch-lites Apr-May-June 1985, p. 1
2Torch-lites Apr-May-June 1985, p. 2
3Torch-lites Jul-Aug-Sep 1986, p. 1
4Torch-lites Jul-Aug-Sep 1986, p. 2
5Torch-lites Jul-Aug-Sep 1986, p. 3