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In Memoriam ~ Fr. Allan Bouley, O.S.B. ’54

Fr. Allan Bouley, O.S.B. ’54  

Richard Arthur Bouley was the second oldest of six children born to Richard and Agnes (Payette) Bouley of Anoka, Minnesota, on April 22, 1936. He attended Saint Stephen’s Grade School and Saint John’s Preparatory School. Richard then enrolled in Saint John’s University and along with seventeen other young men, entered the novitiate of Saint John’s Abbey and took the name Allan. The following July 11 he made his simple vows and continued his undergraduate studies, earning a B.A. in philosophy in 1959. Continuing his seminary studies, Father Allan was ordained to the priesthood on September 15, 1962.  

Father Allan received his Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) in 1966 from Saint Anselmo in Rome and later a doctorate when he finished his dissertation, “From Freedom to Formula: The Evolution of the Eucharistic Prayer from Oral Improvisation to Written Texts.”. Father Allan spent his professional years teaching in the University School of Theology especially during a time of transitioning to the vernacular in liturgical workshop and prayer. He became a skilled mentor for generations of seminarians in learning how to be prayerfully present as a presider.  

In his long career as Professor of Liturgical Studies (1969-2008), Father Allan also served as Liturgy Director for Saint John’s Abbey (1970-1976; 1978-1982) and a member of the Liturgy of the Hours Revision Committee, 1984-1987. He was an advisor to the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Liturgy (1976-1978) and a charter member of the North American Academy of Liturgy. Father Allan also was an exchange professor for Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, in 1973 and taught a liturgy course at Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C.), 1985-1986. For 25 years he was an associate editor for Worship Magazine.  

Father Allan wrote many articles, presented lectures, workshops and conferences, and collaborated with co-authors on numerous liturgical topics. He compiled and edited Catholic Rites Today: Abridged Texts for Students (1992). The Collegeville community and all those who pray with us are beneficiaries of Father Allan’s steady, low-key leadership and sensibility that has shaped the way our monastic prayer looks and feels.  

Father Allan died on April 22, 2023, in the Saint Cloud Hospital. He is survived by his brother Charles, his sister Karen (Ted Kaden), a brother-in-law Abraham Hernandez, and many nephews and nieces, in addition to the community at Saint John’s Abbey.

The monks, family, and friends will receive the body on Wednesday, April 27 at 7:00 p.m. and celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial for Father Allan on Thursday, April 27 at 10:30 a.m. in Saint John’s Abbey and University Church, with interment in the abbey cemetery.