Pastoral Themes

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Meet Fr. Art: Faith at the Frontlines

May. 12, 2014

Bringing Christ’s Presence to the Frontlines

A native of Brookline, Fr. Arthur “Art” Calter grew up as the youngest of five children.

Following the example of his two older brothers who became priests, Fr. Calter entered St. John’s Seminary in 1951. Upon his ordination, Fr. Calter poured himself into ministry at parishes in Marlborough, Salem, Needham, and Braintree.

With the war in Vietnam gaining momentum, Fr. Calter was struck that so many young men in his parishes were being drafted. Moved by the desire to bring the presence of Christ to the trenches, Fr. Calter became a Chaplain in the U.S. Army. He served two tours of duty embedded with infantrymen and marines in the jungle where he would celebrate up to twelve Masses in one day.

Fr. Calter’s time in Vietnam prepared him for a different kind of battle back at home—his next assignment in South Boston where he served as pastor of St. Augustine Parish during the height of the busing crisis.

In a career spanning more than five decades, Fr. Calter has been a pastor at five parishes and has worked with thousands of families and individuals. He currently resides at Regina Cleri, a retirement home for senior priests in Boston, where 53 residents represent 1.2 million days of priesthood.

Fr. Art’s story is one of 638—the total number of active and senior priests in our Archdiocese of Boston who answered God’s call to become fishers of men through the priestly vocation. Their life stories paint the history of our Archdiocese through decades of faith, love, service to thousands at home and abroad. These are the men who built our church of Boston. Now, it is time for us to help build a future for them when they need us.

This Easter, please consider making a generous gift in honor of Fr. Calter and all our priests whose faithful commitment to the priesthood undeniably has enriched our Catholic family in countless ways. Your support of the Clergy Health and Retirement Trust helps care for the well-being of Boston’s priests, ensuring that they receive the highest quality of care and support they deserve.  

To watch a short video featuring Fr. Calter, and to learn more about the priests who faithfully serve us each day, please visit our website: 

Thank you for your generous support of the Clergy Health and Retirement Trust, and all our priests who continue to bring Christ’s presence to all who seek God’s compassion and care.