December 19, 1929 – August 17, 2020

Brother David Eastman Allen, a member of our community, died on 17 August 2020 at Cambridge, MA in the ninety-first year of his life and the sixtieth year of his religious profession.

A native of Spokane, WA where his grandparents had been Presbyterian missionaries, David graduated from Washington State University in 1952 and immediately enlisted in the US navy. He was assigned to active duty during the Korean War in the Pacific Fleet. Following a year of shore duty he entered the Church Divinity School of the Pacific to prepare for ordination. He was ordained deacon on 17 June 1958 by Bishop Edward Cross, who had confirmed him a number of years earlier. Shortly after his ordination he entered our community at the Monastery in Cambridge. He was ordained priest by Bishop Spence Burton of our Society later that year. In those days it was our custom for priest novices to be elected directly to life profession, and so on 1 July 1961 Brother David made his life profession in the Monastery Chapel. He was the last person in our community to go directly from the novitiate to life profession. In 1962 he was sent to serve in our Japanese Province where he served until 1971, and again from 1974, until the closing of the Province and the withdrawal of the American members of our community from Japan in 1975. These were some of the happiest years of his life. There he became proficient in Japanese, which enabled him to serve both our Japanese and English speaking congregations. For a time he was the editor of our Japanese newsletter Mi Tsuka (or Honourable Messenger). He also served as Provincial Superior, as well as Warden to the Sisters of Divine Charity.

He returned to Cambridge in 1975 and was at different times Novice Guardian, Assistant Superior, Guest Brother, or Sacristan. He was also one of those who lived at Emery House on several occasions. Because of his fluency in Japanese, David was one of those who began the Boston Chinese Ministry at St. Paul’s Cathedral. This allowed him to learn enough Cantonese to enable him to preside at the Eucharist, and preach on occasion. In February 2020 David moved into a long term care facility. Shortly after his move, the facility went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, preventing any visits. A few weeks after the lockdown began, David wrote to the Brothers saying that I have come to know my present attitude is one of joy and peace…and that I have accepted with joy what has happened to me…accepting my life as it has become, so cut off from what it had been. Each morning I wake up reciting a line from the psalms, ‘This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.’ Brother David died at Neville Center at Fresh Pond. His ashes will be interred in the community’s Memorial Garden at Emery House at a later date.


Office of the Dead, the service of Evensong prayed for and in the presence of the departed, will be on Thursday, 20 August at 6:00 PM.
The Eucharist of the Resurrection will be celebrated on Friday, 21 August at 11:00 AM. Cremation will follow.

Both services will be live-streamed on the Friends of SSJE Facebook page.


To make a gift in memory and celebration of David Allen, SSJE, click here

The Brothers invite you to share your memories and messages below:

146 Comments

  1. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge on September 8, 2020 at 11:30

    It is wonderful to read these reflections and memories of Brother David. I join you in thanksgiving for David’s life, the way his warmth and hospitality enfolded me on my visits, and I pray for God to console all those who mourn his death. Love and prayers.

  2. The Rev. Dr. Constance Hammond on August 25, 2020 at 17:25

    I first met David in 1981 when I came over to the monastery from seminary to give my first personal confession. David was the perfect person for me with his kind, gentle, welcoming and forgiving presence. In his humbleness—his quiet, accepting and comforting way—he brought Christ’s presence into the room and modeled a way for me to be, later, as I heard others confessions. As we grew to know one another we became friends. In a discussion about where David grew up—he, coming from the Spokane area which my great uncle had founded—led David to tell me about another great uncle of mine who had been honored in Japan, something I did not know, which David knew from his own time in that country. He had a curiosity about many things and could dredge up information from a variety of experiences and sources. We often exchanged titles of books to read, corresponded on a fairly regular basis and when I was in Cambridge went out to dinner at his favorite places. Once I introduced him to Cherrystone Clams, a favorite of mine which surprising he had never eaten before. David was always eager to try new things. He had a delightful openness to life, a sweetness about him. He stayed with me in Portland, Oregon a few times when he was on vacation visiting family at their lakeside home in Washington and his niece, Libby, in Portland. We even managed to meet in San Francisco once. I am grateful for his friendship, the stories he told me of his life and his listening to my own stories. When he had to go into an assisted living place it was very difficult for him, especially because one of his roommates “took the Lord’s name in vain”. But he understood why he was there. He understood that the place was closest to the monastery and when COVID hit with it’s quarantine he understood that as well. Through prayer and his deep faith David said he came to peace with his new life, so very different from the monastic life had lived. And that, for me, showed what a man of faith he was, able to overcome what was a dramatic shift in his life–to live into it with faith, love and trust. I shall deeply miss him, for he was a dear friend. I can only imagine what a loss he is to the community of brothers who have known him for so many more years. May they, David’s birth family and his many friends, find consolation in their grief and the blessing of Christ in their memories of a humble man who lived in peace with joy.

  3. Edward Franks on August 25, 2020 at 12:18

    What a sweet man! He had a lovely life in the service of our Lord. RIP

    • Danielle B. Byrne on August 25, 2020 at 16:59

      I would like to offer my Condolences for Brother David. I am very sad to hear that he has passed.
      One month or two ago, he was noted to be in good spirit and especially happy about his life, his
      service to our Lord. He was indeed a very gentle man who conveyed graceful obedience,
      abnegation and… and inner discreet joy. I witnessed him walking through the main aisle of the
      Monastery, kneeling then rising and with outmost delight throw a kiss in the air, a pious kiss,
      a kiss of affirmation as if meaning: “I am certain, I am convinced, I am awaiting God with
      fondness.”

  4. The Rev. John Kennedy on August 24, 2020 at 19:06

    Br. David made a strong impression during my time as a summer seminarian at SSJE only two years ago. He was a model of simplicity, silence, faith, and warmth and taught me, by his presence and way of being, something of the holiness and joy of a life consecrated to God. I am thankful that I got to know him a little bit. I mourn and pray with the brothers of SSJE. I hope for consolation for his brothers in their grief, knowing that he has inherited the kingdom of his Father.

  5. Louis Cavaliere, Captain, US Navy Retired on August 24, 2020 at 16:51

    I was referred to David Allen to be my spiritual Director by Robert Greenfield, SSJE. I did not immediately know why until I met David and discovered that he was a fellow US Naval Officer. We immediately bonded and it lasted for over 20 fruitful years. Among many treasures, David introduced me to Julian of Norwich, and the Revelations of Divine Love, and to the seven “I AM” sayings in the Gospel of John. . After some difficulty with the reading, David told me to stick with it. My live has not been the same since. What I learned was sacrifice and selfless service are opportunities for us in all stages and at all ages of our lives. So today, I work with an organization that celebrates selfless service in the military veteran community. None of this would have been apparent without the guidance that I received from David. Rest in peace, my friend and fellow shipmate. Fair winds and following seas to take you home, which I know is where you really want to be. Always in Christ, the Good Shepherd, The Door of the Sheepfold, The Bread of Life, The Light of the World, The Vine and the Branches, The Way The Truth and the Life, The Resurrection and the Life. The total and complete I AM.

  6. Anne Ritchings+ on August 22, 2020 at 21:43

    David was a kind and gentle man. Always a welcoming presence at the Monastery, he helped to create the wonderful hospitality that has been the hallmark of the SSJE community. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

  7. May and Carl Daw on August 22, 2020 at 17:01

    Dear Brothers,
    We wish we could be with you in person at this time, as you both grieve and celebrate Br. David’s life. We imagine that he held much of your “institutional memory” with his decades and decades of serving and ministering from within your community, whether in Japan or in the US. His humility, which was notable, meant that he was sometimes overlooked by visitors until they experienced a conversation or another interaction when his wisdom or wit became obvious. One such moment: several months ago, Br. David was a little late coming down on a Tuesday to unlock the gate to the choir, and Carl was among those waiting for him. When he arrived, Br. David confided, “I was writing a homily and lost track of the time. One must not rush the Muse, of course.” It is wonderful to see how many other people have their own stories of Br. David’s life and ministry. We are grateful to have known him.

  8. The Rev. Dr. Terri Young on August 22, 2020 at 15:58

    Thank you David for your faith and light. It burns brightly. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and yourself and for the testimony of your life’s work. Rest in the peace and the tenderness of Christ.

  9. Lucinda I Doran on August 22, 2020 at 13:37

    Every time I came to the Monastery, I felt embraced by Bro. David’s presence. He was such a warm, kind and gentle soul. I give thanks for his life and his impact on my life. Rest in peace, David.

  10. Margot Dunnachie on August 22, 2020 at 06:22

    As I live in Scotland my only experience of Br David was through his online sermons. He came across as one who was faithful and walked humbly with his God. It was good to hear that even in the enforced isolation that Covid 19 brought about in his final few months on Earth that he was content, joyful and peaceful – a foretaste of his life to come perhaps? The phrase that comes to mind is “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord”.

  11. Beth Rosenquist on August 21, 2020 at 13:02

    Brother David was a warm, affirming presence at the monastery. Many people have commented on his eyes; I will miss the way he quietly welcomed people with his subtle sparkle. There was a lot I didn’t know about his life, and it was wonderful to learn about his experience in Japan and with the Chinese community in Boston. I’m so thankful for his life and continue to pray for the community that sustained him.

  12. Nathan Leach on August 21, 2020 at 11:32

    Rest in peace, David. Your gentleness, kindness, and hospitality will be missed.

  13. Val Arsenault on August 21, 2020 at 00:11

    The first time I set foot in the monastery chapel was Tuesday, June 13, 2017, around 4:30pm. The dimly lit chapel was empty, mercifully cool, and (of course!) smelled faintly of incense. Instinctively I tucked myself into the chair back in the corner right next to the organ and rested my head against the rough stone wall. After a while, Brother David Allen came out to unlock the gate and set up the bulletins for the 5:30pm Eucharist, so he was the very first SSJE monk I ever met. I was on retreat at the monastery for three of his birthday celebrations, and for his 90th birthday this past December, Br. James asked me to play something celebratory on my violin for him.

  14. Jenny Allen Lucke on August 20, 2020 at 21:14

    It is so nice to read so many loving tributes to our “Uncle Timmy” or David as so many others knew him. As most of his life was spent away from his hometown of Spokane where we live, we didn’t have the same memories or experiences as so many of you – but one thing we always knew was how much his family and friends meant to him. I received a letter in the mail from him just days before he passed expressing his regrets for not being able to attend the celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the Sigma Chi Fraternity at WSU and the dedication of their new chapter house. He was always one to keep his commitments and felt bad about not making it to this event. Despite the distance between Cambridge and Spokane, he always made the effort to come visit his friends and family every year, and we are so glad our children had the chance to know him for the kind and gentle man he was.

  15. Micah Walter on August 20, 2020 at 17:53

    Br. David was one of the sweetest, gentlest and kindest men I have ever met. May he rest in peace and in God’s love.

  16. Lisa Kimball on August 20, 2020 at 16:56

    My last direct interaction with Br. David was a year ago when I had the privilege of interviewing him for the Signs of Life project. We sat together in the Guest House Common Room and I was taken on a pilgrimage from Spokane to Berkeley, Cambridge to Japan and home again. I treasure that hour and give thanks for the witness of grace, humility, and steadfast faith I will always associate with his life.

  17. The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas on August 20, 2020 at 15:25

    I am touched to read the many comments and memories that fill these online pages. I am glad to know that Br. David experienced peace and acceptance as death approached. I, too, recall with affection a man who was kind, gentle, quirky, and filled with faith. He met with me in 1992 after I’d suffered a great loss, and although his own life experience was vastly different from mine, he received my confession with hospitality and a loving heart. The last time I sat down with him was in 2013, and I relished hearing his warm memories of Japan and other places he loved. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

  18. G Figueredo on August 20, 2020 at 14:06

    I will remember David A fondly, as a kind and gentle man. My sincere condolences for the community. May he rest in peace and may his memory be a blessing for all who knew him.

  19. William Houghton on August 20, 2020 at 13:47

    I have many fond memories of David. We became good friends during our time in seminary at CDSP. We met twice after graduation, once at the monastery in Cambridge and again in1971. When I learned of his move, I wrote him and received a wonderful reply. I sent a reply short time before his death. He was thoughtful of others and a good friend to all.

  20. Rev. Tambria Lee on August 20, 2020 at 11:32

    Dear Brothers, my prayers are with you as you live with the presence of his absence. The first thing I noticed about Brother David was his sense of hospitality. He always was aware of who might need a little extra help; making his way gently to them and offering a prayer book, its pages opened to just the right place.He would gravitate to the newcomer in the refectory speaking through the silence with his eyes and mischievous smile. I always appreciated his methodical nature, almost like the cadence of the psalms, now so hard written into his DNA. His words of acceptance of his new normal speak to the alchemy of the life of prayer he was so faithfully a part of. I hope life with his God is everything he had ever hoped it could be and then some.

  21. The Rt. Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld on August 20, 2020 at 10:50

    During the fall of 1985 I was standing on Ninth Avenue and 22nd Street and saw the most peculiar sight of two men in black habits walking toward the entrance of General Seminary. One tall with unruly curly hair, the other shorter, and balding. The first was Rusty Page, SSJE and the second, David Allen, SSJE. Neither could be more different from the other: Rusty, extroverted with a robust laugh and wide smile, the other quieter, with gentle eyes that focused on one as though there was utterly no one else in the room. This peculiar pair (and pairing) became my introduction to monasticism, the contemplative life, sacramental confession, and the intentional devoted integration of the spiritual and mundane patterns of life. David displayed an unusual familiarity and even comfort with the awkward silences in confession and in sessions of spiritual direction.
    In those pauses, he welcomed God’s Word, and that Word was love.
    May he rise in God’s peace and glory. Thank you, David, for all you gave this world.

  22. elizabeth wright on August 20, 2020 at 08:59

    Oh! I’m discovering this late, I’m so sorry. I’d missed him at the virtual offices. So it was with relief I read Br. David’s healing message letting us know his sense of peace in spite of all. Praying for yours, grieving. May you and all in loss feel a light touch on your arm in remembrance. Brother David conveyed so much attentiveness with his eyes and kind gestures, calmly perceiving, gently welcoming without intrusion those of us who somedays liked to hide. Thank you Br David.

  23. Roy Cockrum on August 20, 2020 at 08:51

    My sincere condolences to the entire SSJE community. Br. David was a great help to me when I was the Guest Brother at the monastery. No one has ever worked harder or been more loyal. I’ll never forget the image of Br. David, not a young man at the time, tirelessly carrying heavy boxes of books all afternoon when we were relocating the library. Some of us “younger” brothers would need to stop to catch our breath or go find a sip of water, for a while. Br. David just carried on. Well done good and faithful servant. Rest well in the loving arms of Jesus Br. David. You’ve earned it.
    May light perpetual shine upon him. Amen.

  24. Greta J. Edwards on August 20, 2020 at 04:13

    With all who knew him well, or experienced him from afar, Brother David was truly Priest-Monk of the finest and rarest sort. My attendance at the Monastery in Cambridge has been episodic, but Brother David was a constant. His passing is deeply sad, yet perfects in Christ what this member of the SSJE Community brought forth in his living presence: A life fully surrendered to Christ.
    Wishing all in the SSJE Community and all touched and changed by Brother David loving peace in your grief.
    Memory Eternal!

  25. Rev. Mary Gustafson on August 20, 2020 at 04:13

    Brother David served as my confessor shortly after my move as rector to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Southbridge, MA in the spring of 2004. My husband Ray and I moved back to Minnesota in retirement in October, 2012. I was able to return to the monastery a couple of times for Holy Week and he once again heard my confession. Ray and I last saw him in June, 2019 when we returned to Boston for a conference for Anglican Church musicians. Brother David is a wonderful model for me as I move into my retirement years. He was a quiet and gentle man, always available for a chat. I will miss seeing him when I am finally able to return to Cambridge.

  26. Joe Mock on August 19, 2020 at 21:02

    Really sorry for your loss. In my fifty odd years of comings and goings, he was the one constant presence: I shall miss him. May he rest in peace.

  27. Jean Ann A Schulte on August 19, 2020 at 18:38

    So many have commented on the peace, welcome, invitation that Brother David exuded as we enter the monastery chapel. Now he has entered into everlasting peace, welcome and invitation. Thanks be to God for his remarkable and impactful life. My condolences to the SSJE brothers.

  28. The Rev. Erik Larsen on August 19, 2020 at 17:34

    Br. David has been a friend and spiritual advisor to me for more than 40 years. We shared a love of Asian culture and the Church. We hosted him in our flat in Hong Kong for a week in 1993, and it was clear that he was beloved by all the clergy and people… as well as my wife and two young children. We had many friends in common in East Asia, and we enjoyed our reunions in Cambridge. David was a very important part of my life, a “funny little monk” as my clergy colleagues at St. John’s Cathedral would say… but a beloved friend. Dzaijyan!

  29. Martha Holden on August 19, 2020 at 17:16

    Ouch. Br. David blessed me most substantially in his role as my confessor these last few years. I shall continue to rely on his prayers and intercessions while missing the incarnate contact. Pray for me, Br. David–as you rest in peace and rise in glory.

  30. Ted on August 19, 2020 at 16:37

    Hail David, full of grace, the Lord is with you,
    Blessed are you among souls and
    Blessed is the fruit of your labors.
    Dear David, beloved of God
    Pray for us your earthbound friends,
    Now and at the hour of our death

  31. Debbie McGee on August 19, 2020 at 13:38

    Thank you for sharing the news of David’s death with the wider community. I live far away from Cambridge, but retain in an easily accessible inner space the quiet and peace I found in my stay a few years back. David’s presence and his silent acknowledgement of all present was empowering. His sermons are forever. Prayers for all are ascending from the mountains and rivers of West Virginia.

  32. Sally Montgomery and James Eastman on August 19, 2020 at 13:31

    Our deepest sympathy to all you brothers as you grieve the passing of your dear Brother David. We have many good memories of this kind, compassionate and loving man. Just seeing him walk into the Chapel the times we were at worship there heightened the spirituality of the service. We also appreciate hearing or reading his beautiful sermons that on occasion underlie the “daily word.” We know you will deeply miss his presence and are sorrowful that the pandemic prevented you from visiting him during the last five months. If we could all be as accepting of the end of life as he was, greeting each morning with the hopeful sentence “This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.”

    • Annette Bates on August 19, 2020 at 19:27

      My sorrow at the loss to your community of such a worthy brother and servant of Christ. May light perpetual shine upon him and may his soul rest in peace.

  33. Bruce Betts on August 19, 2020 at 12:49

    Dear Community
    Many years ago, Br. David Allen corresponded with me about being an associate of SSJE. I believe it was after he had returned from Japan. One of the few times that I was able to make an associates retreat, I met with Br David Allen. We spoke a lot about the history of SSJE, Father Benson, and Bishop Grafton. (one of my heroes). Br Allen was kind, thoughtful, and generous with me. I have never forgotten that retreat or Brother David Allen.RIP

  34. Bobbi Patterson on August 19, 2020 at 12:01

    As many have said, David began being a presence of Christ in my life while I was a student in the mid-70’s. As a friend and I wandered into services, he often would be around with that loving smile and the deep invitation of “join us” that never came in words. Over the years of retreats when he lived in the Guesthouse, we would cross paths, chat simply, and I always walked away feeling cared about. Only later did we start sharing stories. There simply came a time when the friendship opened that door and he talked more openly – though always briefly – about his life, his dedication to the order and his utter reliance on God. Each time I arrived at the monastery – and it is always a trek to get there – David was ballast…simply by presence…by doing Christ’s work…as fully and best he could…to the end. Such a loving presence and so sorely missed.

  35. Mark Given on August 19, 2020 at 11:37

    David, blessed me many times during my retreats and visits. We did not talk much. We did not need to. He was like a quiet cat sitting on the arm of a sofa in a sun spot on an other wise cold, windy day radiating in posture God’s love, peace, and presence.

  36. Anne H Lisca on August 19, 2020 at 10:26

    Dear Community: I was vetted for the Community by Fr. Bob Greenfield who was to be my sponsor. However, the night I was formally admitted in a beautiful part of the evening service at the monastery, Fr. Greenfield was the celebrant so Fr. Allen graciously agreed to be my sponsor. We kept in touch all these years and it meant a lot to have that personal link with you all. It made me very sad to hear of his death. I will miss him personally. I’m glad that he was at peace in the care facility – even without the physical comfort of your visits – but the spiritual community of all those years with you was wonderfully there. Thank you for sharing Fr. Allen’s words.

  37. Constance Holmes on August 19, 2020 at 09:15

    I also remember Br. David Allen and his gentle smile, modesty and sense of humor. We sat together at a meal two years ago and he graciously allowed me to help him with carrying his plate.
    His reflection have been invariably thoughtful, wise and utterly unsentimental. Br. David will be remembered with love.

  38. The Rev. James La Macchia on August 19, 2020 at 08:54

    Dear Brothers: My heartfelt condolences to the whole community at the loss of your brother David Allen. David was my spiritual director through my years at EDS and beyond, and he participated in my ordination to the priesthood. David’s gentleness, humility, and wisdom saw me through many turbulent times in my spiritual journey and throughout the ordination process during an era when such things were nearly impossible for an openly Gay man living in a committed and faithful relationship. So often, I find myself drawing on his wisdom and sage advice in my own vocation as a spiritual companion with others, even repeating verbatim wise “words” that he offered me. I will miss him and I am sure that he shares now in Christ’s victory over death. I will keep David and the whole SSJE community in my personal prayers. Shalom!

    • The Rt. Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows on August 19, 2020 at 09:37

      Dear Brothers; I add my condolences on hearing the news of Brother David’s death. I first came to know David when I was on staff at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in the early aughts. My job then was to raise funds from alumni/ae and churches and David was always steady in supporting his beloved seminary. Accompanying his faithful donation, he would write a brief note about where his vocation was taking him and inquire about my ministry. When I returned to the East Coast and would visit the Cambridge house more regularly, Brother David would always check in on me—somehow keeping up with my life better than I thought anyone I only saw annually (at best) might do. From these brief episodes, his notes, his generosity I have learned much from Brother David about the abiding and steady work of faith and stewardship. May he rest with the saints in light.

  39. Carney Ivy on August 19, 2020 at 07:11

    Dear Brothers and Friends in SSJE,
    My heart grieves for all as I absorb this beautiful tribute and all the comments. The Monastery Chapel has been a place of great comfort for me when I would visit my daughters in Boston. Although my visits have been brief and infrequent, I feel a kinship to the community and I read the Daily Word faithfully. Br. David was always kind and welcoming when I visited, and he allowed his spirit to flow forth directly to me upon our first encounter. Watching him with others, he was a gentle wave spreading love and faith to all. My thoughts and prayers for all the Brothers and the immediate SSJE community as you heal from this loss. He served his God well. I am sure he is resting in peace.

  40. Sheila Long on August 19, 2020 at 05:05

    Dear Brothers, My condolences on the passing of your dear, kind Brother David. I’ll always remember his warm welcome at your guest house when I would come to stay during my home visits from France. He was very helpful when I was preparing for an interfaith monastic exchange in Japan in 2005, and we had quite a lively correspondence during that time. When I moved back to the U.S. in 2009 and was given the job of renewing the liturgy in the monastery to which I transferred, we had another flurry of correspondence, during which he sent me texts and music that we are still using in our Divine Office. I was impressed by his efforts to become a better homilist, and felt privileged to be on the list of people to whom he emailed his sermons. In his later years, especially after he grew his long beard, he seemed to have morphed into a Desert Father. He said he always thought of me as his younger sister. I shall miss seeing you in Cambridge, my dear older brother, but look forward to a reunion on the Other Shore.

  41. Michael Horsburgh on August 19, 2020 at 02:46

    Whenever Bev and I visited our family in Arlington MA, the monastery was our spiritual home. David knew who we were and greeted us warmly on every occasion. Travel from Australia to the USA will not be possible for us in the foreseeable future. When next we enter the monastery chapel, his absence will be palpable.

  42. Alan Rollins on August 19, 2020 at 02:42

    May God Bless you and keep you, Brother David. It was always a joy to see you at the retreats; you will be missed, but always remembered fondly. And may God bless your fellow Brothers in their time of need.

  43. Rev Clare Edwards on August 19, 2020 at 02:33

    What a joy to read the tributes and memories of so many. I reflect on Br David’s quiet, gentle presence, the handing over of a copy of a sermon preached or recently prepared, with ‘I thought you might like this’. I’m sure these months away from his daily life at the monastery will have been hard and also a blessing to those he found himself amongst. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

  44. Andrea McNair on August 19, 2020 at 02:19

    Saddened to hear of the loss of Bro. David, I lift up all who mourn the loss of a brother, a friend a wise companion on the way. I have often been touched by words from his ponderings and writings and I give thanks today. I’m honoured to read about his far reaching ministry and grasp of languages.
    I take on with encouragement his message from the psalm that this (and every day given)…”This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it”
    Love and blessings to all .

  45. Cameron Partridge on August 19, 2020 at 02:16

    I first met Br. David a number of years ago, when he conducted the wedding of my cousin near the monastery in Cambridge. I was so moved by his warm, gentle way, and whenever I would see him at the monastery in subsequent years, he would always greet me with a smile. As others have said, he had a way of wordlessly but profoundly creating a space of welcome. Thinking of him now, I can picture greeting him at the Peace or sitting across the table from him when I was on retreat. What an incredible ministry he had over so many years. I send love and peace to all in the SSJE community, with gratitude for Br. David’s life and the vibrant life of your community.

  46. Beth Dunn on August 18, 2020 at 23:51

    When I was a regular visitor to the monastery chapel during the years I worked nearby in Cambridge, Br. David always welcomed me with such warmth and peace and good cheer. Blessings on him and on the community that loved him and which he loved so well.

  47. Fr. Albrecht Nyce, OSB on August 18, 2020 at 22:55

    I too have fond memories of Brother David on his visits to Glastonbury Abbey (Roman Catholic Benedictine Monks) in Hingham, MA. He came periodically for spiritual direction and spent time with us. His soft-spoken and gentle demeanor endeared him to me. May he RIP in the loving arms of God!

  48. Rev. Robert Petite FSJ on August 18, 2020 at 21:49

    We give thanks for the life and service of Br. David and send blessings+ on the SSJE community in the midst of the loss of a faithful Brother. Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed.

  49. Rosemary Smith on August 18, 2020 at 21:29

    What a wonderful person he was; I did not know him but it has been a pleasure to read of his life and the comments above from those who knew him. From Australia, I send my condolences to the Brothers. This man will enjoy the company of our God and His kingdom.

  50. Michele Bondy on August 18, 2020 at 21:01

    I first met Br. David in 2007, when I came to the Monastery on my first Advent retreat. He was the Guesthouse Brother. As others have noted, he was always smiling…looking a little bemused, and had a perpetual twinkle in his eye. With the exception of the time the Monastery was being refurbished, I came on retreat every Advent and always looked for Br. David and his sweet and gentle smile. One year, during our talking meal, he shared with us about his experience of living in Japan. His joy was evident, as was his wistfulness. He said it had been hard to leave and I felt great sympathy, imagining how difficult it must have been to leave behind a place that had been so much a part of his life. But, even as I felt that wistfulness, I also saw his ability to see good things in every moment.

    I will always associate his sweetness and kindness with the Monastery and my experiences there. I grieve for the loss to the community and to the world he touched and knew. You, dear Brothers, and Br. David will be in my prayers.

    Michele

  51. Betsy Byers on August 18, 2020 at 20:43

    While on retreat for Holy Week and Easter 2016 at the monastery, I was seated next to Br. David at Easter dinner. It was my first time to speak with him and when I told him that I am from northern Idaho, he shared that he grew up in Spokane (my hometown is about 2 hours’ drive from Spokane). It was wonderful for me, after living in the Boston area for the previous 3 years, to talk with another person from my home region, and to listen to his stories about growing up in Spokane. I will always remember that beautiful Easter meal of delicious food and Br. David’s stories. Whenever he greeted me at the monastery after that, always with a warm smile, I felt that we shared a small but special connection.

  52. Harriet Kollin on August 18, 2020 at 20:08

    I was introduced to Br. David at the first Episcopal Asiamerica Ministry consultation I attended in 1987. I saw him annually since. So when I went to EDS in Cambridge in 2001 his presence nearby was a comfort and delight. I will cherish my memories of him. I join SSJE and friends in celebrating his life and service. May God rest his soul.

  53. Elizabeth N Anderson on August 18, 2020 at 19:38

    My first visit to the monastery was for an Icon writing workshop in 2004. Although not directly involved with the workshop I was impressed with the joy Br. David seemed to exude. My other visit was for a Holy Week-Easter retreat. During that week I realized how pastoral he was. We had several quiet moments together g in the Chapel. The one that has really stuck with me was before the Easter vigil. Neither of us went outside for the lighting of the fire. I had sat in his stall and was looking at his prayer book which was in Japanese. He came and sat in the next stall and shared his love of the Japanese people. I have not been able to return to the monastery but have sporadically corresponded with him over the years. I have always found his writings, short as “Brother Give Us a Word” or longer articles in the Cowley, or personal notes to be challenging and comforting. Having know him has shaped how I am dealing with my aging. Thanks be to God for allowing me to be touched by Br. David.

  54. Christopher John SSF on August 18, 2020 at 19:31

    Dear Brothers – I’m so sad to hear the news of David’s passing, but it comes at the end of a life rich in ministry and prayer. Sadly, we never met face to face, but got to know each other by email when I was living in Korea and he was able to tell me of SSJE’s days in North East Asia. I enjoyed his email sermons – sometimes especially for the narrative of how he had meditated on a particular text and then shaped and reshaped his sermon in response to that meditation. May he rest in peace and rise in glory!

  55. Libby Allen Ramirez on August 18, 2020 at 19:23

    I am overwhelmed with emotion, reading all of the wonderful, heartfelt tributes to Brother David, as you all know him, and Uncle Timmy as I know him. I had the pleasure of visiting my uncle in Cambridge several years ago, and sharing a wonderful community meal. I felt so welcomed, as he had shared about my upcoming visit, to have so many people approach me with warm greetings, and their evident fondness for my uncle. The twinkle in his eyes expressed his love for his SSJE family. I was so happy to have spoken with him only a week ago on the phone, and we planned for me to visit again once “the plague”, as he called it, had subsided. Thank you all for sharing such wonderful memories. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

  56. Lily DeYoung on August 18, 2020 at 19:17

    So sorry to hear this news. I have long watched for Br David’s homilies, and each one has been a gift.

  57. Cissy Humphrey on August 18, 2020 at 18:30

    I have very fond memories of Br David Allen. The first one that I recall was when I spent Christmas 2005 at SSJE. It ended up being a warm Christmas Eve, In preparation for the Christmas services, all guests and brothers were busy, either decorating the trees, polishing silver or waxing the furniture. Since we were cleaning, most of us had T-shirts and jeans on. Someone noticed that Br David wasn’t around. . He came rushing in, sweating in his heavy wool cassock, proceeded to throw off the heavy garment and standing in his shorts and T-shirt, ready to work. I found this so amusing, and so very Br. David Allen. Other times, we were together during work weekends, usually in the library, dusting books and polishing the wooden banisters. And he always a delight at Sunday lunch to hear his stories. I am so thankful that I got to know him over the last 15 years. What a wonderful and caring person. My heart grieves with his fellow Brothers, but celebrate an amazing life.

  58. Jep Streit on August 18, 2020 at 17:16

    David was a model of steady and unassuming faithfulness, bringing a gentle grace to the Chinese congregation Sunday after Sunday for most of the twenty-two years I served at the Cathedral. Others have noted his smile, quietly radiant and so welcoming, embodying the countless Biblical verses about God’s abundant love for all the world. All the world.

  59. Rev. Jennifer Brooks on August 18, 2020 at 17:08

    My heart is heavy with the sadness of Brother David’s passing, especially so because he was without his beloveds in physical presence at his bedside. I’m grateful for his continuing joy in greeting each new day. My love is with all who knew Brother David and who mourn his death.

  60. Art and Pam Nolting on August 18, 2020 at 17:02

    Our deepest condolences to the Community of SSJE; Brother David’s passing must leave a huge void, but blessed memories.

  61. Rev Matthew Dutton-Gillett on August 18, 2020 at 16:51

    Fr. Allen struck up a relationship with me when I was in seminary in the late 80s and early 90s, when the SSJE was something of a refuge for me. At that time, the brothers used to open the refectory to all after the Tuesday Eucharist. But that became a bit unmanageable, and so the policy was changed, allowing brothers to invite one person from the congregation to dinner each Tuesday evening. Fr. Allan came right up to me and invited me to join him. His quiet kindness touched me deeply, and it was a joy to see him a couple of years ago at an ordination service at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. He, of course, had no memory of me. But I will never forget him. Peace and warm condolences to the community, and may light perpetual shine upon Fr. Allen.

  62. Stephanie Budwey on August 18, 2020 at 16:47

    I am so sorry to hear of Br. David’s passing. It was always a blessing to be greeted by him when I entered the monastery for the Eucharist. He was such a kind, dear soul. Thanks be to God for his life and ministry!

  63. Kelsey Rice Bogdan on August 18, 2020 at 16:22

    I was so sorry to see the news of Brother David’s passing. I remember being invited to have lunch with the Brothers during a retreat our staff team took to the monastery several years ago, and Brother David was at my table. Midway through the meal I heard my co-worker comment, “I think Kelsey has a connection to Spokane, too!” I was delighted to discover that Brother David had attended my alma mater, a small Presbyterian college in Spokane, WA, roughly 50 years earlier than me. It was such a blessing to me to connect with him. I will remember him for his gentleness and warm sense of welcome that day, and for his faithful witness to the Gospel throughout his life. My prayers are with the SSJE community as you celebrate his life.

  64. J. Micks, SSJE Assoc. on August 18, 2020 at 16:21

    My memory of Br. David will be the Brother who greeted me on Sunday mornings at the door of the chapel with warmth and kindness. He will be missed. Please remember my dear Brothers that I am holding all of you in prayer at this time.

  65. The Rev. William Winston on August 18, 2020 at 16:17

    I was afraid that my visit to the monastery last year to celebrate the 40th anniversary of my formal association with SSJE would be the last time I would see Br. David Allen, and so it was. What a dear, old friend. We shared a love for Japan and things Japanese, and because I sometimes chant Noonday Prayers in Japanese – and that’s the office in which I pray the prayers of SSJE – David sent me a copy of the old SSJE prayers in Japanese, which I still use. Once, he was given permission for me to take him out for dinner at a favorite Japanese restaurant and it was perfectly wonderful loitering with an old friend over natto. I’ll deeply miss seeing him, but I will think of him whenever I say my prayers in Japanese. For me, he embodied the spirit of harmony (和) in the Japanese sense of the word. My deepest sympathies and most heartfelt condolences to the men of SSJE. I grieve over your loss and pray that David rests in peace and that light perpetual shines upon him. Blessings on you all.

  66. Margaret Fearey on August 18, 2020 at 16:12

    I will greatly miss Brother David. We met over the refectory table during my first retreat and shared our experiences of living abroad. There was something about Brother David that always conveyed calm and comfort and faith, completely without words. I always felt uplifted and renewed after exchanging just a greeting with him. He will be sorely missed on earth, but welcomed heartily into the congregation above. Requiescat in pace.

  67. Bill and Sandy Ditewig on August 18, 2020 at 16:11

    Brother David always welcomed my wife and me with a twinkle in his eye and such heartfelt warmth. He was definitely a quiet, humble servant with a deep love for Christ and the scriptures. His presence brought peace to the chapel. We will deeply miss him. “And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest…”

  68. Susie Allen on August 18, 2020 at 16:03

    My dearest memory of Br David Allen is his warm and kind greeting each Sunday as I entered the Chapel for Sunday Eucharist. In the quiet, he smiled, offered a service bulletin and welcomed me into the sacred space and time. Often, he was at the door as I left after worship. He would say a few words of greeting, and seemed to have all the time in the world to be in conversation. I’m so glad I knew Br David in this way – thanks be to God.

  69. Susan Carvell on August 18, 2020 at 15:50

    Dear Brothers, so sorry to hear of your loss. I was fortunate to have met Brother David while on a weekend retreat at the Monastery. I remember his graciousness (and the twinkle in his eye) as he welcomed guests to the Refectory. His presence will be missed.

  70. Nancy on August 18, 2020 at 15:42

    May he rejoice in the Heavenly Kingdom!

  71. The Reverend Kerry Maloney on August 18, 2020 at 15:40

    Dear Brothers, I extend my deepest condolences to you on the loss of your beloved brother, particularly under circumstances that required you to be parted from him in his final months. My most abiding memory of Brother David was a silent, life-altering encounter we had in 1995 at Emery House, where I had retreated to one of the hermitages for a week. Among several other struggles I was enduring that year, I had been afflicted with profoundly disfiguring hormonal acne that caused me immense social distress/shame as well as great physical pain. At one of the daily Eucharists that week, the Psalm of the day was 34. “Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” (34:5) I hoped no one would notice my silent tears at that verse, but they were not lost on David. Minutes later, when he handed me the Body of Christ, he gazed upon my ravaged face longer than he usually would, with immense love and respect — true regard — offering me a simple, unspoken healing for which my body and soul were longing. Brother David, may you look to him and be radiant for all eternity. Rest…and Rise.

  72. Rev. Canon Dr. Winfred B. Vergara, Missioner for Asiamerica Ministry of the Episcopal Church on August 18, 2020 at 15:34

    Sad to learn about this. David attended many of the past conferences (consultations) of the Episcopal Asiamerica Ministry (EAM). He was a kind soul, always smiling and ever ready to help in any way. I always got a good feeling and lightness of being after every conversation with David.

  73. Eric Gedstad on August 18, 2020 at 15:33

    I was so blessed to work with David on several retreats. Much of what he said stays with me to this day. Sometimes when life is too chaotic, I think of David and his calm demeanor. One time I brought a very thorny and complicated topic to our talk, and what I remember was his citing of the verse “Be still and know that I am God.” I think of it, and David, very often. He always came and sat with me in the refectory if I was alone, too. He exuded peace. May he rest in that peace forever.

  74. The Ven Douglas Fenton on August 18, 2020 at 15:29

    I give thanks for Brother David’s ministry of non-verbal hospitality and welcome–his eyes would said it all. May he, with all the saints, rest in peace and rise in glory. My prayers are with his Brothers as they grieve his dying.

  75. Chuck Till on August 18, 2020 at 15:23

    I met David several times over the decades. Such a sweet, modest, and gentle person he was.

  76. Edwin Hansen on August 18, 2020 at 15:19

    God be with you always. What a blessed life you have led……………a true believer in Jesus. Thank you for the inspiration.

  77. Marta on August 18, 2020 at 15:15

    I particularly remember the week I cooked at Emery, because the cook’s apartment had flooded. I was excited for it and produced quite a complicated meal the first day. I asked Br. David what he might like the next day, and he looked at me both plaintively, but with a twinkle in his eye, and said, “Something simple?”

  78. Bob Wadley on August 18, 2020 at 15:06

    In 1993 or 1994 I was at Emory House on a personal retreat. David was there and we talked about some difficulties I was facing at that time. At that time I lived in Charleston, SC. Years later, about 2010 I was in Boston and while my wife and her sister went to lunch I went to the monastery for the Noon service. David greeted me at the door. I told him my name and that I was visiting from Knoxville, TN where I now live. Following the service, David came up to me and said, ” you were from Charleston and were having some difficulties.” I was amazed and said, “how do you remember that?” David said, “We’ve been praying for you.” That moment brought me to tears. It still does.

    • Frederick Erickson on August 18, 2020 at 16:09

      I remember his preaching at the monastery in the late 1970’s. He was a model of brevity, clarity, coherence, kindly good sense and insight, without any “staginess”–the single point sermon at its very best. All this shows still in the printed sermons in the “Give us a word” daily post. I will keep revisiting them.

      May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

  79. The Rev. Ray Surean on August 18, 2020 at 15:05

    My heart is aching. David Allen was a good friend of mine for 48 years. I first met him at the Monastery in Cambrige when i was 21 and a probationer in the Oblates of the Incarnate Word. He was a gentle, caring man. When i moved to Seattle, WA i was able to see him up through the early 2010’s every other year when he would visit here. I received my last letter from him about a week ago. He was a good preacher and writer. He was always on the side of those left out. He stood with those who faced racial discrimination and poverty. He worked for a Church that would fully include women and the LGBT community. I will miss him sorely. May he rest in peace.

  80. Matthew Gibson on August 18, 2020 at 15:05

    Brother David embodied the peace of Christ in a way that was very accessible and ineffable at the same time: much lay behind his winsome smile – all of it good and God ordained. I will miss him until I see him again.

  81. Gwedhen Nicholas on August 18, 2020 at 15:04

    Dear brothers,
    I am so sorry for your loss, but glad for Br Allen as he has been released from his earthly vessel, to dwell with Christ forever.
    May he rest in peace and rise in glory!
    Blessings,
    Gwedhen

  82. Dee Dee Miller on August 18, 2020 at 15:04

    What a lovely tribute to the life of a delightful man. It does not surprise me in the least that he would find himself feeling joyful at the end of his life. Though I only met Br. David a few times when I was on retreat, his kind eyes and warm smile made me feel welcomed, known, and loved, so much so that I instinctively found myself reaching out and holding his hands when speaking with him. I thank God for the blessing of knowing this wonderful man. May light perpetual shine upon him.

  83. Joseph B. Webb SSJE Assoc. on August 18, 2020 at 15:01

    One of the simple gifts Br. David shared with me was his warm hospitality during my Advent retreats @ the Monastery … though he shared his many capabilities, I was always mindful that he was serving the greater good & pointed to a greater purpose … he taught us not only how to live but how to die. RIP. JBW

  84. Kimberly K on August 18, 2020 at 14:59

    What a rich, full life! He was blessed, and was a blessing.

  85. Rev Patricia Barreyy on August 18, 2020 at 14:55

    Brother David always had a loving welcoming grace about him. He was always there when I was lucky enough to be on retreat. His smile always evident in his eyes, David brought love and peace in his manner. My prayers and thoughts are with all the brothers now

  86. Jack H Haney + on August 18, 2020 at 14:51

    Br David was one of the older brothers that I related to when I became a Fellow of the Society in the 1980s. The older brothers are almost gone now, and I am older—82–and disabled (heart issues and Parkinson’s) and unable to get to the Monastery—which I miss. But Br David wrote me and we occasionally kept in touch. I miss him. RIP.

  87. Deb Howe on August 18, 2020 at 14:49

    I am so grateful for David’s life and gentle presence at SSJE; he was a model of attentiveness and welcome. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

  88. Terri on August 18, 2020 at 14:45

    Brother David was such a nice, gentle soul. I appreciated his prayers. May he rest in peace.

  89. The Ven. Elizabeth J. Hardy - Diocese of Toronto on August 18, 2020 at 14:34

    Whenever I saw that Br. David was the listed homilist for the day’s “Brother Give me a Word” I know I would receive gentle wisdom, guidance and peace for my day. I was always happy when I saw his name come up. He personified the love of Christ for me. Godspeed.

  90. Elisabeth Keller on August 18, 2020 at 14:32

    I am hearing this news with such sadness and will miss Brother David so much. We shared a special connection through mutual friends in Hawaii and his time in Japan, which he so loved to speak with us about. Steve and I send love and prayers of condolence to our dear SSJE community.

    • Prataap Patrose on August 18, 2020 at 20:13

      Br David Allen was one of brothers who welcomed my mother to the monastery in the 1990s And helped my mother settle into her “second home” in his signature quiet way that attracted no attention to to himself but made her feel at ease in the monastery. And over the last 3 decades retreats at Emery House and services at the monastery Br David always had a knowing smile and gentle word for me when we shook hands or hugged. And my partner James who is 87, and Br David shared a special kinship because of their age. Br David had a way of weaving himself into the fabric of your life. I will miss his presence at the door and will remember him as being in the fabric of my life.

  91. Silvia Gosnell on August 18, 2020 at 14:31

    Dear Brothers- I just saw the notice. I am heartbroken and grieve with you all.
    My salient memory of David+ is of a day when I arrived at the Monastery for Holy Eucharist. Shortly before climbing the outdoor steps to the chapel, I’d seen an email on my iPhone that left me feeling at first disquieted, then annoyed, then angry… a quick crescendo of emotion. In the vestibule I had the thought, “God help me, I don’t know how I’ll be able to worship today.” I put on the veil, opened the door… and there was David, walking down the chapel aisle toward the door. He looked at me with a tenderness… a gentleness…. an openness… a smile… very hard to describe. All I can say is that the way he looked at me made the maelstrom of emotion melt away in one moment, with one glance. I was able to worship deeply that day. What a conduit of God’s grace he was.
    I’m so grateful to have known him and will truly miss him. I pray that you Brothers are comforted in mourning, as you know that he abides in the fullness of joy now.

  92. The Ven. Richard Geoffrey Leggett on August 18, 2020 at 14:30

    I shall remember Brother David and the whole Community at tomorrow’s celebration of the eucharist at Holy Trinity Cathedral in New Westminster BC.

  93. Bro. Sean McLaughlin, SDS on August 18, 2020 at 14:29

    WOW! What a life….Rest in the peace of Christ….well done my faithful servant!

  94. the Rev. Ray Surean on August 18, 2020 at 14:27

    Brother David Allen was a good friend for 48 years. I first met him at the Monastery in Cambridge when i was a probationer in the Oblates of the Incarnate Word. As long as he was able he would visit Seattle,WA every other year and we would have the opportunity to visit and spend time together. He was a compassionate and caring man. Over the years he always sided with those left out because of racial discrimination and poverty. He was for a more inclusive church that welcomed women into full ministry and those in the LGBT community. He served the Lord and others as a very good preacher and writer. I missed his not being able to visit for several years now, but right up to Aug. 11, we were corresponding. I will very much miss him. May he rest in peace.

  95. Skip Windsor on August 18, 2020 at 14:26

    David was a wonderful colleague and mentor while he served with the Chinese congregation at The Cathedral Church of St. Paul. As the Cox Fellow there I had many chances to converse with David and was always struck by his gentleness, kindness, and interest in others. The brothers’ loss is heaven’s gain. May David Rest In Peace with the saints in light.

  96. The Rev. Deborah Warner on August 18, 2020 at 14:26

    Dear Friends,

    Please know I join you in giving thanks for David’s kind and generous spirit. His quiet faithfulness was always a calming and welcoming presence.

    Go well and in peace, David.

  97. The Rev. Cn. Ronald Spann on August 18, 2020 at 14:25

    For a good part of my seminary years at 99 Brattle Street (1966-70) I came to haunt the monastery, and to enjoy with that a genial relationship with Fr. Allen. It was, one could say, the eve of what was on its way to becoming a golden age of development for SSJE, in those post-Vatican II years and the upheaval of American society.. His intelligence and spirituality were so deeply integrated and centered in him, and his Japanese sojourn radiant but not flaunted. What a testament of vocation shines through his long life in religion. May God be much glorified in his testimony, and its grace active in his monastic family’s ongoing life and in the world he has left behind…

  98. Nicholas J. Morcone, OSB on August 18, 2020 at 14:21

    Brother David was a very good friend of many years standing. His frequent visits and stays at Glastonbury Abbey were always a joy and most welcome. I enjoyed his insights into monastic life, his retelling of his many experiences in his ministry and his insights in his search for God. His final years were anincreasing burden for him but he bore them well with patience and resignation to God’s will for him. May he rest in peace. Nicholas, OSB

  99. Fr. Andrew Malcolm on August 18, 2020 at 14:14

    I am so sorry to hear of Brother David’s passing but give God thanks for his long and rich ministry. It was such a joy to meet him on the occasions I’ve visited Cambridge from the UK and from all the Trustees of The Fellowship of St. John in the UK we send our condolences and prayers. May he rest in peace and rise in Glory

  100. Ginger on August 18, 2020 at 14:08

    Condolences to the Brothers on the loss of dearest David. I often told him the different messages and words he spoke to me that are engraved on my heart… forever.

  101. The Rev. James Pratt on August 18, 2020 at 14:01

    When my rector (Richard Murphy, who has left a remembrance above) introduced me to the monastery, David was the first brother I met. His smile, the twinkle in his eye, his gentle demeanor were inviting and infectious. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

  102. Charles W Paxson on August 18, 2020 at 14:00

    I always enjoyed David’s sweet and quiet greeting into the monastery. So too did I appreciate young monks and the eldest processing after Compline. May David rest in peace.

  103. Paul Antenore on August 18, 2020 at 13:59

    My condolences and prayers to the Community on Br. David’s passing. While my involvement with SSJE doesn’t go back as some, I was fortunate to hear Br. David both preside and preach at weekday morning Eucharist and came to enjoy his “challenges” at the end of his sermons. His presence and welcoming smile is something that I will always remember. As self centered as the following may seem, he was the first Brother to call me by my first name and we shared stories of his trips out to Hingham on the Greenbush line for his spiritual direction meetings at Glastonbury Abbey. May he rest in peace and rise in glory!! Well done good and faithful servant.

    • Father Gregory Mansfield, SCP on August 18, 2020 at 15:19

      During my years at Harvard Divinity School (1980-1984) and the Graduate School of Education (1984-1986), I rarely missed the 5:30 Eucharist on Tuesdays and meeting with the Brothers afterward for tea and sherry. Over the years Brother David served as confessor, retreat leader and spiritual director. Brother David never failed to inspire as a preacher, teacher or writer. I loved his writing in the Word. He was always welcoming, gracious and could make me laugh out loud. His was a life well-lived. I join the Community in giving thanks for his life.

  104. John Baldovin, S.J. on August 18, 2020 at 13:56

    I remember David as a kindly, gentle and lovely man. It was a pleasure to know him. Condolences to the community. I will remember him and you all at the Eucharist

  105. Philip Gunyon on August 18, 2020 at 13:55

    Brother David. A life well lived. A rest well earned.
    From the old SSJE Refectory at 17 Sadler Drive in Bracebridge, Ontario.
    Phil Gunyon (who started life in Kobe, Japan on 3rd May 1932)

  106. Linda Walton on August 18, 2020 at 13:52

    May angels guide him to his rest with the saints in glory. A life well lived!

  107. Anne R Kirchmier on August 18, 2020 at 13:51

    I am so sorry for this loss for the SSJE community; and I rejoice for Brother David’s presence now in new life. I never got to know him during my retreats at SSJE, but I remember his gentle smile and warm presence. Blessings to all of you as you grieve.

  108. Sr Helena Barrett and Sr Alison Joy Whybrow OSB on August 18, 2020 at 13:47

    Brother David’s smile lit up his whole being, his eyes twinkling with love and welcome. I knew him much longer than Sr Alison Joy did, but we both remember him with fondness. He was a lovely example both of monastic hospitality and infectious peace and joy. May he rest in peace and rise with Christ in glory. Memory eternal!

  109. Br. Eckhart Camden on August 18, 2020 at 13:47

    Let light perpetual shine upon him. I met Br. David at the joint CAROA/NAECC conference at Holy Cross Monastery in 2017. We had a most uplifting conversation together there. He was a wise and gentle monk.

  110. The Rev. Fr. John Whittall on August 18, 2020 at 13:44

    I did not know Brother David as well as many of you but got to know him during my time as the community confessor. He was an easy man to love and seemed to personify the divine love of God. May he rest in peace and rise with Christ (and the rest of us) in Glory!!! John Whittall Diocese of Toronto. Hope to see you all again soon!

  111. Charles Taliaferro on August 18, 2020 at 13:39

    I am sad about this news. When I weekly attended the monastery on Tuesdays from 1977-1984 Father Allen was a wonderfully reliable reference point. A friend and I never shared our nickname for him: THE MUSTARD SEED. He was small of stature and his homilies sometime domestic (in one he reported that a retreat he was on was boring, but it was a refreshing boredom) and yet (as in our Lord’s parable) from a tiny seed sprung a mighty tree of faith.

  112. Peter Choo on August 18, 2020 at 13:39

    It is with sadness that I receive the news of Br. David’s passing. I enjoyed the occasions I had to exchange a brief greeting with him (verbally or just a smile), and I will miss seeing him at SSJE.

  113. Fran Carr on August 18, 2020 at 13:39

    I have wonderful memories of prayer in the chapel at the Monastery and meals with Br. David. What a wonderful soul. Thank you for sharing this obituary with us!

  114. Dan Warren on August 18, 2020 at 13:39

    I always appreciated David’s quiet and attentive presence. He embodied warm greeting with ample space to move, and be moved.

    • Barbara Kennard on August 18, 2020 at 14:14

      My memories of Br. David are few, but everlasting. He had an incredible memory and wonderful sense of humor. I’d only been to one Sunday service at the Monastery but when I returned a few months later; he remembered my name. Then another time when we were discussing the Lord’s Prayer after a service, I remarked to him how much I appreciated the use of the phrase’ save us from the time of trial’ instead of ‘lead us not into temptation.’ With a twinkle in his eye, David grinned and said, “It really should be save us from the time IN trial, for we will always be in some kind or another.”
      I then amended my recitation of this prayer and to this day, I think of David whenever I say The Lord’s Prayer. What a lovely faithful man he was, such a beacon of gentleness and goodness. Thank-you Br. David for your gracious friendship and your example of faith. May you rest in the arms of Jesus and rise in glory.

  115. Steve Godfrey on August 18, 2020 at 13:38

    Brother David was probably the first to greet me the first time I attended the Tuesday Eucharist at the Monastery early in 1990, and he never failed to greet me by name, even after I disappeared for many years. I always looked forward to seeing him when visiting for retreats. He signified the gentle hospitality of the SSJE for me. I will miss him and pray for his peace in new life and for all the brothers and others who will miss him.

  116. Adrianne Krstansky on August 18, 2020 at 13:34

    I will always remember his kind and welcoming spirit. What a beautiful tribute to his generous and loving life.

  117. The Rev. Phil Flaherty on August 18, 2020 at 13:31

    I always looked forward to Br. David’s commentaries on the daily “Brother give us a word”. He was a master of brevity, always getting to the point in not much more than a single paragraph. I can only aspire to make my sermons as concise. And of course he was my first encounter on entering the chapel for the first time, a humble and welcoming presence.

  118. valerie cowart on August 18, 2020 at 13:30

    May he rest in peace and rise in glory! I pray that lavish peace will be upon the SSJE community and all who mourn this loss.

  119. The Rev Dr Deborah Little on August 18, 2020 at 13:30

    I made my first ever confession to David, I bet 35 years ago or more and he was so gracious that I thought he was old enough perhaps not to hear very well! Later, when I was solo at common cathedral and struggling to welcome all the Chinese people who joined the meal we served after the service, I asked David if he could help. I know he did his best, but mostly he taught me to welcome even the strangers among the strangers. Mostly, as others say, it is his smile. And I can feel it now.

  120. Dr. Russell K Carter on August 18, 2020 at 13:28

    A blessed life of bringing God’s peace 🙏 to humanity

  121. The Rev. Katharine C. Evans, SCHC on August 18, 2020 at 13:27

    Rest in peace, dear David, most kind, gentle, welcoming of Brothers.
    You have lived such a generous, long life of varied ministry, and you
    will be missed, even as you now rise in glory.

  122. The Rev. Canon Lisa Hines on August 18, 2020 at 13:24

    I always read with pleasure the “Word” when it was written by Br. Allen. His messages were both simple and wise, never drawing attention to himself and always pointing the way to a deeper engagement with the divine. Although he was at peace with his separation from his brothers in the final months of his life, I suspect his distance grieved those who could not be by his side on his deathbed. With warm memories of my times on retreat at Emory House and at Cambridge, I pray that Br. Allen continues to be with the brothers in their prayers and life together.

  123. Aidan Stoddart on August 18, 2020 at 13:22

    My dad was at Harvard back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, and he visited the monastery regularly. Back then, Brother David was there to welcome him. 40 years later, when I came to Harvard and started visiting the monastery, Brother David was STILL there to welcome me. I was always comforted by his presence–his calm smile, his tender voice, his quiet quirkiness.

    Brother David also routinely demonstrated that monks, in their own way, are funnier than professional comedians. He had this wonderful way of being both totally earnest and startlingly random. I’ll never forget one of the first things he ever said to me. Completely out of the blue, he shuffled over to me in the monastery refectory, and referenced my dad’s notoriously peculiar walk: “I remember your father. He always walked like he had just gotten off of a horse.”

    Another time, when I was chatting with him after a service, there came an awkward silence in the conversation. Rather than becoming uncomfortable, he simply embraced the awkward. He looked at me with a wry smile and quietly announced, “I’m going to go over there now.” And then he walked away from me, and that was that.

    On a few occasions, I was able to watch Brother David celebrate the Eucharist, and I was deeply moved by his liturgical presence. The man was an ordained priest for SIXTY YEARS, and even in the last year of his life, he still prayed the Great Thanksgiving with evident awe and adoration. If when I am old and gray I have even an ounce of the resplendent peace that shone through Brother David, then I will have lived a truly spiritual life.

    Suffice it to say that I loved Brother David, and I will miss him. I wish I had known that a Mass I attended before lockdown was the last time I’d see him. I would have ensured that our hug during the Peace was particularly warm. God rest his shining soul.

  124. Stephanie Denson on August 18, 2020 at 13:19

    Condolences to all the brothers on David’s death. I enjoyed corresponding with him in recent months. May he rest in peace, and may God’s grace surround the community at this time. 🙏

  125. Gail Waters on August 18, 2020 at 13:19

    May his memory be a blessing. My
    condolences to all of you who will miss him so much.

  126. Regina Walton on August 18, 2020 at 13:18

    Br. David was such a deeply kind and hospitable man. What a lovely smile he had! May he rest in peace and rise in glory. My deep condolences to all the brothers, especially when we can’t be together in person.

  127. Peter Littlefield on August 18, 2020 at 13:16

    A gentle man. God bless him and all the Brothers, who are his family.

  128. mary coogan on August 18, 2020 at 13:06

    For the many times that Jack and I visited the Monastery in Cambridge or went on retreat to Emery House, David was always there with a gentle, welcoming smile and warm greeting. His quiet, calm demeanor seemed to indicate an inner peace. In response to a recent note I had written, he wrote and told me about his beginning each day with “This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and Be Glad in it.” I love that and try to remember to say it myself each morning. I will miss David but treasure fond and positive memories. May he rest in God’s peace. My thoughts and prayers are with all the Brothers of SSJE as they mourn David’s passing.

  129. Fred Rose on August 18, 2020 at 13:03

    Oh my. I’m sorry to hear this. David was so kind and gracious. When I first came to the monastery many long years ago he was the Guesthouse Brother. I always enjoyed chatting with him, and I was so happy to get to see him in May 2019. He was a kind, gentle man who exuded grace and hospitality. I loved hearing g of his time in Japan and his deep love of the Japanese people. He will be missed.

  130. Mary Caulfield on August 18, 2020 at 12:52

    Brother David always greeted me warmly when I entered the chapel. We had a few brief, but significant conversations. He had the gift of making people feel seen and heard.

  131. The Rev. Dn. Raymond Escott on August 18, 2020 at 12:43

    I fondly remember Br. David opening the door of the refectory to let those of us on retreat in for dinner or supper. He usually said nothing but his smile spoke volumes. Well done faithful servant, Rest In Peace.

  132. Mary Ann Mello on August 18, 2020 at 12:42

    Prayers for you and all. Brother David was the first person I met when I came to SSJE for aweekend retreat when the chapel was getting ready for Advent 1. Brother David was so kind and welcoming and when I pray for the Brothers, I remember Br. David, especially when I am welcoming new people to church and how important is it when you are new somewhere to have somebody welcome you, it can make your experience transformative. You can never know the long lasting effects of welcoming the stranger.
    Thank you Brother David, Rest In Peace.

  133. The Rev. Dr. Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook on August 18, 2020 at 12:40

    Rest in peace and rise in glory, David!

  134. Richard Murphy on August 18, 2020 at 12:26

    David was my spiritual director for some years while I was in the ordination process and early ministry in the Diocese of Mass. He was a friend and support whose gentleness, guidance and humility will always be living memories for me. He was also a wise realty check just when I needed those checks. My he rest in peace and rise to glory.

  135. Shaun S Brown on August 18, 2020 at 12:23

    “‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!'” I enjoyed my last brief interaction with Brother David during my 2018 retreat at the monstery; always a comforting presence. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. Peace and consolation to the brothers and to David’s loved ones.

  136. Nancy Gossling on August 18, 2020 at 12:18

    My dear brothers, I am so very sorry to hear this news. For me, Brother David was always a faithful presence, a kind-hearted soul, and someone who always seemed to have a twinkle in his eye. I loved seeing his beard grow in these last few years, and marvel at what I have just learned about his life in this post. If anyone should rest in peace and rise in glory, Brother David is that blessed one. Thank you for sharing his presence and his life with us. In virtual community and sadness with you, Nancy

  137. Jimmy Pickett on August 18, 2020 at 12:16

    I loved the days when I would stand with Br. David at the chapel door to welcome folks to Eucharist during my year as an intern. He always had a gentle smile and I looked forward to sharing a hug with him at the Peace. Rest easy, gentle brother.

  138. Steve Ingram on August 18, 2020 at 12:10

    I experienced Bro. David’s presence as quiet loveliness every time I visited the monastery for retreat. I join in giving thanks for his beautiful life. Rest…and Rise. +

  139. The. Rev. Laura Peckham on August 18, 2020 at 12:04

    Thanks be to God for David’s faithful life and witness here on earth. I pray that the peace of the Holy Spirit will be upon the community of SSJE and all who love David.

Leave a Comment