Retirement Parade for Rev. Charles Allen, S.J., Draws Nearly 600 Carloads of Well-Wishers

Retirement Parade for Rev. Charles Allen, S.J., Draws Nearly 600 Carloads of Well-Wishers

A stunning spring day and a campus in full bloom was the back drop on May 5, for the celebratory retirement parade in honor of Rev. Charles Allen, S.J., and his four decades of service to Fairfield.

A motorcade of nearly 600 vehicles, including one float, wound its way through Fairfield University’s campus, brimming with well-wishers who turned out in droves to thank Rev. Charles Allen, S.J., for his 40 years of service to the University, Prep, and the greater Fairfield and Bridgeport communities.

Essentially closed to the public since mid-March, campus was temporarily opened, and the University’s Public Safety team organized and managed the steady stream of cars that poured in, and at one point, backed up in both directions on North Benson Road, from I-95 and northward to Stillson Road, and as far as Black Rock Turnpike.

Leading the parade with fanfare — sirens, horns and flashing lights — were fire trucks and cruisers from Fairfield Fire and Police Departments, for whom Fr. Allen served as long-time chaplain. They were joined by fellow officers representing the Bridgeport Police Department.

A large American flag was hoisted and flown by the Fairfield Fire Department, just down the hill from where Fr. Allen greeted friends from a safe distance, beaming with a smile that not even his his Boston Red Sox face mask could hide. Amid cheers and tears, and arms stretched out like virtual hugs for Fr. Allen, the outpouring of love was palpable and a testament to the many lives he has touched over four decades as headmaster, teacher, administrator, chaplain, and friend. As carload after carload rolled by, Fr. Allen called out in gratitude, the names of hundreds of University and Prep alumni and their families, students, faculty, staff, senior administrators, town officials, state legislators, and friends whose cars were adorned with homemade signs that read: "Thank you Fr. Allen," "We love you," and "You will be missed."

A news reporter who came to cover the parade asked him what he will miss the most about Fairfield. “The people,” Fr. Allen replied in a moment that gave him pause. “I’ll miss the people.”  

 

Rev. Charles Allen S.J. Retirement Parade Video

Rev. Charles Allen S.J. Retirement Parade Photo Gallery

Rev. Charles Allen S.J. Retirement Parade Photo Gallery

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Last modified: 05-08-20 12:00 AM

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