Loving Notes

December 30, 2012

The world lost a great hero, friend, father, grandfather, husband, healer, preacher, world leader, administrator, doctor and visionary today as we mourn the loss of Dr. Arthur Caliandro who served New York City’s historic Marble Collegiate Church for 42 years. Please feel free to post your loving comments.

A Memorial Service for Dr. Arthur Caliandro will be held on Saturday, January 26, at 3:00pm at the Marble Collegiate Church, 1 West 29 St. New York, NY 10001 212.686.2770 | www.marblechurch.org

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Dr. Arthur Caliandro Memorial Fund for Music and Media Ministry.

Feel free to add comments in the “LOVING NOTES” or  “LOVING TRIBUTES” links on this page and to read other tributes.

46 thoughts on “Loving Notes

  1. Arthur, now there is no doubt that you are surrounded in the gold. Well done, good and faithful servant! Thank you and God bless you.

  2. I first attended Marble on November 8, 1981 when I had lived in NYC exactly 2 weeks. I heard Dr. Peale that first Sunday and for the next 3 years it was one of the great blessings of my life that I heard Dr. Peale and Arthur on many Sundays and that Arthur and I became friends. I decided to join Marble after I heard Arthur’s New Year’s sermon ‘Hope Gets Results.’ in 1982. Over the past 30 years Arthur comforted me when my father died, helped me through some of the roughest moments of my life and would occasionally come to hear me play and sing. Including a legendary night at the Beekman Tower when Arthur, Florence Pert, Bill Canfield, Marian Patterson and a few others were present the same night Mr. Gotti stopped by. Only in New York! I am but one of thousands whose life was touched by this kind and loving man. He has been a part of my entire adult life in New York City and my thoughts and prayers are with Sandy and the countless others who have lost someone who is simply irreplaceable. But I am deeply and forever grateful that we were friends and that I found my beloved church.
    Bill Zeffiro

  3. I live in Montevideo, Uruguay, far from New York and Marble Collegiate Church.
    However, I was always appealed by the strength of the faith of this congregation.
    In a couple of trips to New York, I attended Marble personally and directly felt the force of that faith.
    I have read and I still read the books of Dr. Caliandro; I heard through Internet his preaching on WOR 710, and recently I have seen his sermons on the website of Marble.
    In 2002 I visited New York with my daughter Claudia, and Dr. Caliandro kindly greeted us and had a good time talking with us, as if we were lifelong friends.
    So I always felt him like a respected friend and brother, and today, when he passed away, I know that God receives him as one of their most precious children.
    My condolences to his family, and to the congregation of Marble, which will have him as a permanent source of inspiration.
    Juan Piquinela

    • Juan,
      It is so wonderful that you and my husband Arthur were able to connect through love and faith across so many miles, but then to think that you were able to actually meet in person!! I’m sure it was like you had known each other forever….that’s just the way it was with Arthur! He loved meeting new “forever friends”. Thank you for your condolences. Yes, he will be missed very much but his spirit will never leave those of us who love him.
      Blessings to you and your family-
      Sandra Graham Caliandro

  4. Arthur, when I think of you, and your influence in my life, my heart is very full. You were one of the first people I met when I moved to New York City in 1998, I had just read your book and arranged a meeting with you. I had questions! You encouraged me to come to Marble one Sunday. You were my minister from that time on. You blessed me further by officiating my wedding in 2005. I hold dear the letter you sent regarding my newborn son’s birth announcement, you commented on what you saw in him, this new baby, and your thoughtful kindness is evident in every word. Your beautiful sermons…your kind private words, and the lessons you imparted of time well spent. The concept you taught of time as the most valuable thing one has to share…what a difference that has made in my life. Thank you for sharing your time with us. I learned “The Jesus Prayer” from you, and it sustains me more deeply than I can convey. Yes, you are in the Gold now, and this time you know it! We love you so, dear man. God Bless your sweet soul.

  5. Rest in peace Rev. Dr. Arthur Caliandro.

    “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”
    – Matthew 5:4, KJV

    “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
    – Isaiah 40:31

  6. Arthur was my spiritual mentor. He married my husband and I in 1997 and became a dear friend. When my husband, King, suddenly passed away in 2010, Arthur called me every day and got me through the shock and sadness. I will always be grateful to Arthur and was blessed to have known him.
    Mrs. King William McElwaney III

    • I can only imagine your shock and sadness in losing your husband King, having just experienced the loss of my dear husband Arthur on December 30. I am so glad and yet not surprised that your spiritual mentor, Arthur, was there for you everyday. That’s just what he did! He’s gone physically but his spirit is still with us and I truly believe he’s looking down on us.
      Sandra Graham Caliandro

  7. I first met Arthur when, after 80 years of living in South Portland, Maine, my dear father moved to Manhattan to live with my sons and me, following my mother’s death. When the ushers read off the list of “visitors” that day and Maine was included, Arthur asked the individual to stand up. And so my dad did. Following the service, we spoke and an instant friendship was born. In addition, my father was blessed with an immediate spiritual home in the place so far from his familiar surroundings.
    Throughout the next seven years, our friendship grew and we were most honored to have Arthur in our home on a number of occasions where we’d discuss the going-on in our mutual hometown over dinner. During my father’s final illness, Arthur never once failed to be there for me when I called, regardless of the time, day or night. I’d ask him to pray with my Dad on the phone and he would always lovingly oblige. A few months before his retirement from Marble, my darling father passed away and Arthur officiated at the most glorious memorial imaginable. And while I’m certain the angels are cheering his entrance at Heaven’s Gate, those of us who loved him so dearly here on earth will miss his presence terribly. May God rest his sweet soul.

    • Jane,
      Arthur often spoke of the wonderful evenings he spent with you and your father in your home. He considered you true friends. Thank you for giving to my husband as he gave to you!
      Sandra Graham Caliandro

      • Oh, my dearest Sandy,
        You know, I never read your response until today and am so honored and touched that you took the time from a most difficult period to do so. I’m so sorry we never met during Arthur’s life, but, hopefully, one day we will. I remember kidding Arthur at my father’s memorial that the “third time was the charm”; and he said he couldn’t have possibly agreed more.

        I would just adore taking you to lunch any time that’s convenient for you to reminisce about one of the greatest men I have ever had the honor and great good fortune to call “friend”.

        May God bless you, darling. Please give me a call.

        With much love,

  8. In August 1977 I first attended Marble Collegiate Church. It was a life-changing decision in every way. My husband Lawrence and I will be ever grateful for the ministry of Dr. Caliandro, who married us in 1980. Though we live in Washington, DC, Marble always remained our “home church”, in great part because of Dr. Caliandro, his inspiration and his kindness. God bless this dear man.

  9. I still treasure the closing Dr. Caliandro used in a note he sent to me, back at ya Dr. C. May God continue to Bless Wonderful Dr. Arthur Caliandro, and all he holds dear. My sincere condolences to his family and his Marble family.
    mary jaco

  10. Dr. Caliandro was a great minister with a gift for reaching the mind of his congregation. This meek man became a great force for God with the simple use of one word as a prayer. I will miss the man and the sound of his voice.

  11. I started attending Marble Church in 2002 and was overwhelmed by the sincerity and compassion that the congregation had under Dr. Caliandro’s leadership. My heart is so glad that his legacy of equality, understanding, and biblical principles continue under Dr. Brown’s leadership. Thank God for Dr. Caliandro and the impact he made on this city…and the world.

  12. I attended Marble while I was doing my medical residency and fellowship in Manhattan-I attended medical school in Maine where Dr. Caliendro whould spend his summers on an island-he always spoke in such a way that you could picture exactly what he was preaching. I admired Dr. Caliendro for being brave enough to discuss his battle with depression which I also have had to live with. I moved to Tennessee in August of 1999 but listened to him on tv as well as returning to NY and making sure that my Sunday mornings where spent going to church where everyone made you feel welcomed and not a stranger no matter how many people lived in NY.

  13. I came to Marble just as Norman Vincent Peale was leaving and Arthur was coming in. Despite a setback in his health, Arthur took on the task with a style all his own.
    When my own health faltered, he stood by me with compassion, respect and many acts of kindness. I will miss him.

  14. I have been a member at Marble since ’98 and alwasy enjoyed Arthur’s sermons. THey were one of the reasons I’ve stayed with Marble all these years. His work with GIFTS was inspiring at a time when many churches were still ‘closeted’ about thier support of their gay members. I think too it was interesting that Arthur died a few days after Christmas as he always did such a beautiful job celebrating and communicating the love, joy and Christian service of that season to me and countless others. It ws like his body wasn’t going to give up until he had one more Christmas here with his family and his church. I will miss him greatly, but we have his teachings to remember to share that love that he felt with others.

    • Arthur loved Christmas – it is with much agreement that I too think that his body fought for “just one more!” I purposely played Christmas Carols and sang along out loud as I drove myself in my car this afternoon to attend his Memorial Service. I thought he’d like that and get a real kick out of it. I was right. As I sang I realized I was smiling and enjoying the moment… I was in the Gold! And somehow I know I was not riding alone. Thanks for your post. God Bless, Rebecca Scofield

      • Rebecca,
        I can guarantee you were not in that car alone singing Christmas carols!!!! You have no idea how much he loved that! I am not kidding you when I say I have had to ride in the car all the way to Maine in the middle of July with Christmas carols playing the entire way. It was one of Arthur’s secret obsessions and you stumbled on it :-). What a wonderful thing for the two of you to share on the way to the memorial!!
        God bless-
        Sandra Graham Caliandro

    • Oh Brian, you knew him well and yes he wasn’t giving up until after Christmas! As you know, he had been in the hospital or a rehab center for many months but he managed to get a pass out for Marble’s Christmas Concert and another one to spend all of Christmas day with us at home. We had a wonderful Christmas day celebration and even got a visit from his buddy Dr. Brown and wife Page…..quite a celebration! You’re right we’re left with his love and his teachings but also his spirit which will never leave us!
      Bless you Brian-

  15. I have followed Dr Caliandro’s ministry since I found Simple Faith on cable TV many years ago. I still have about 50 of his sermons on video tape. His messages were always an inspiration to me. I usually traveled to NYC in the summer, so my worship experiences at Marble were when he was in Maine. I did get there in October once and was able to hear him preach. His legacy will continue to inspire many as his words live on through his books and his spirit.

  16. As a young adult, back in the 1970’s, I had what I perceived at the time to be a falling out with Marble. Arthur, set up a meeting with me and, for an hour, treated me like I was the only guy in the world, buttering me up like I was some sort of a king. In those days he was the administrative minister. I don’t know if he was brought in to succeed Dr Peale or not but, it became undeniable that he was the day to day leader at Marble. His natural genuineness endeared him to all. He made Marble a much more inclusive place and moved Marble away from a style that tended to burn out volunteers to a style that was much more supportive.

  17. A friend introduced me to Marble and Arthur in the 80’s. I grew to love Arthur for his extraordinary kindness, vision and innate capacity to love us, and to help us with our journeys in this life. He personally guided me through divorce, illness and good times, too. He was so human, he understood us, and yet he walked with God. I have so much to thank him for, and I know he has finally sailed into the gold. Rest in peace, Arthur, and keep an eye on us.

  18. Dr. Caliandro, on December 27, 1998 I watched your sermon on television while living in NC on “Love” and I began writing your sermons in a journal every Sunday. I have a journal full of your sermons through February 20, 2000. You touched my life immensely. I wrote a lot of copies of this journal for others too and I am so blessed to still be holding mine in my hand as I write you. I will read it over and over & never lose my vision of seeing you and hearing your voice, even though I was never privileged enough to meet you in person. With my deepest gratitude & with love, Tammy Stroupe

  19. I joined Marble a few months after Arthur became Senior Minister,after attending only one Sunday service. I never regretted my decision to join Marble.
    Arthur made me feel that I had a home at Marble and we were one family. I respected and admired him as a person and minister. He was authentic, he was real, and I believe those qualities endeared him even more so to the congregation. He was inclusive, meaning he truly exemplified Jesus’ teachings. I will so very much miss him.

  20. Dear Arthur’s Marble-Family-Friends,

    On January 26, 1978, Arthur and Drs. Peale and Teusink gave the memorial service for my mother, Alice Perkins. While my parents were initially drawn to Marble by Dr. Peale, they soon found the young and dynamic minister from Maine truly engaging and inspiring.
    It was Arthur who visited my mother at home while she was dying from
    cancer, Arthur in whom she confided.
    Arthur and the Marble Family he created were always there for my
    father, Lynn, helping him heal, and supporting
    him in so many ways during the long years of being a widower and
    struggling with different illnesses,
    Arthur and the Marble Family again, who gave me strength and support
    to take care of my father.
    Arthur, Rob Williams and the many Marble friends also saw me through
    cancer and the illness of many friends.
    When my father was successful and later, especially when he got ill,
    and needed Marble the most, his front row seat was always reserved. After a service, Lynn would say, “Good job, Arthur.” Then to me, “I don’t know how he does it; Norman asked me to give one sermon, and it nearly killed me.”
    (high praise from an Englishman and brilliant writer.)
    Arthur and Rob gave my father’s memorial in 1999, with the glorious music
    that Kenneth Dake makes a lasting gift..
    Once again, Arthur was there for my dear brother-friend, Kevin Oldham, —
    who died of AIDS at age 32, in 1993. Arthur gave his memorial with Kevin’s music resonant – Kevin sang in the Marble choir (I had first met Kevin elsewhere, at a
    veterinary hospital, through my dogter, Domino, — and was so happy to see him in the choir — Arthur knows that I have always loved dogs, and that is why I am so glad that he was blessed to have not only Sandy, but Jack!
    Kevin was a gifted composer….Arthur and Kenneth Dake have made sure that Kevin’s music continues to give people joy –
    Decades later, it is quite a thrill to see the name “Oldham” after“Mozart!”
    I know that the music on Saturday will be a touch of the Aeterne…chosen,
    of course, by Dr. Caliandro…

    Forever — Arthur – Beacon —
    Anchor – Pastor – Neighbor – Friend–
    Somehow — Center — Hope…
    You are and will Be — Ever –
    — immeasurable Gift –
    — Blessing –
    to everyone
    whose lives you touched,
    and you did so globally…
    for the light – the guidance
    through the dark,
    the Ever-Affirmation –

    Thank you, Arthur –…

    pamela perkins…

  21. A hunger for a more fulfilling spiritual life drew me to “Simple Faith” many years ago. Through his sermons on TV, on CD and through his books, Arthur Caliandro literally changed my life. I could hear God speaking to me through his words. I was led to do God’s work in a way that was both fulfilling and incredibly painful. Throughout my spiritual journey, I learned and grew from Arthur’s openness about his own life and his spiritual growth. In my heart, I will always hear him say,” Corragio!”

    I wonder how many thousands of people like me have come to know God because of this one man. It gives me joy to know he is at rest in his Father’s house.

  22. I moved here from California in Feb. 2001, I have always been active in church but moving to New York City was an overwhelming task to find a church where I would feel like a part of a congregation and not a person sitting in a pew. I never felt like that at Marble and Pastor Caliandro was a motivating factor where I am still a member. My never ending thanks to Pastor Caliandro for guiding a transplant and sharing his words of encouragement, hope and faith always remembering that God is always on our side. My deepest condolences to the family and friends but that now God has a wonderful spirit in heaven. We will miss you Pastor Caliandro and thanks to God for sharing you with us.

  23. I just watched the memorial service. Dr. Brown was so right Dr. Caliandro did make you feel as if you were a dear friend. i had the wonderful privledge to meet him after a Christmas sermon many years ago. As I left I was able to purchase that very sermon which led to me becoming a subscriber to Marble’s sermon series. Upon hearing of Dr. Caliandro’s retirment I sent him and email telling him how much his ministry had meant to me and that he had kinda given me the courage to live my beliefs. I had often felt that my faith was a little out there but if someone like me could be anywhere near the same page as a man like Dr. Caliandro, I maybe wasn’t so out there after all. I told him that each Christmas I was going to get out all his Christmas sermons and it would be like catching up with an old friend. To my surprise he actually wrote my back, in letter form. I still keep his letter in my bible. I am going to read it to my Sunday School class in the morning. Nothing like sharing a letter from your best friend. Blessings and love to all his family and other best friends all over the world. Much love, Bill Williams

    • Dear Bill,
      I’m not surprised my husband wrote a letter to you. People like you touched his heart. People like you kept him going. He was the “people’s minister” and he lived to connect and make a difference in people’s lives. As he touched your life, you touched his!
      Bless you-
      Sandra Graham Caliandro

  24. I’m sure it’s hard for many of us to describe our introduction–or re-introduction–to God, thanks to Arthur. I was at Arthur’s memorial service yesterday. There was hardly a dry eye in evidence, my own included. Of course, I know why, but it’s still difficult to put into words, because words don’t really express the awful sense of loss his passing has given us. He touched so many lives so deeply and so richly.
    Thank you, God, for Arthur. What a gift he was to us. He loved us in abundance, and we loved him in return, and I hope as much as he loved us.

  25. I remember being at Marble the first Sunday Arthur spoke after taking over the position of Senior Minister following Dr Peale. I tried to come to every service I could when I was home in New York. I made a decision in 1989 to move from NYC to Dallas.The part of this move that was the hardest was that I would not be able to atten Marble each week. However,because I work
    for American Airlines,I decided I could take a 6:30A.M. flight from Dallas and get to New York and to Marble before the 11:15 service. I would then take a
    3:30P.M. flight back to Dallas. This continued for several years until the flight schedules changed. As the years continued I would watch Marble on my local TV and invite neighbors over to see the part of New york that I missed the most–no it was not a play on Broadway,but the wonderful words from
    “Americas Home Town Church” featuring Arthur Calliandro.
    Arthur was not only the minister that New Yorkers new and loved,he was the
    person that touched so many lives in so many ways throughout his life.
    He was able to be the’peoples minister’ and show his difficulties were the same that all of us battle everday.
    I will miss Arthur so much just knowing that he was always present for me or for anyone that needed his advice. The world has lost someone that shared his sermons with so many around the world that need to hear his comforting,reasurring and encouraging words of hope,faith and love.
    Arthur,you were one of a kind and will never be forgotten.
    have found the end of the rainbow and now you can be at Peace in the Gold.

    Thank you,my friend

    • Dear Susie,
      What a wonderful story! You came all the way from Dallas on Sunday mornings to hear my husband preach! That deserves some kind of an award when some of us who live blocks away can sometimes barely make it on time. I hope Arthur knew your story. He would have loved it. In fact if he knew it, I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t use it in one of his sermons over the years. Yes, I too miss him so very much and like you I miss knowing that he is always present for me when I have a problem. It gives me great comfort and I hope it will help you too, to know that his spirit will never leave us and that he is indeed looking down on us.
      Blessings to you-
      Sandra Graham Caliandro

  26. I first met Dr Caliandro while I was visiting the US in the 1960″s Dr Peale was still preaching and I attended Marble Collegiate to hear him every time I came to the US. On one of those occasions I met the new Minister, Dr Caliandro. I have never forgotten that first meeting with the remarkable being he is. His genuinely warm and loving greeting of the youngish Black woman from the Caribbean erased all of the other types of welcome I had received and I felt I could be in this city.
    I eventually returned to live in the US, in New York for a while and would visit from time to time. Then I left New York in 1985 and last year I returned here to live for a while.
    Sometime in November last year a memory of Dr Caliandro passed across my mind and I decided to visit Marble Church. I went to the Thanksgiving service and after the service I tried to find him or find out about him. I was surprised that he had retired, I still held him as a young man in my mind, and wanted to hear him preach. He was not at the church that day and I left disappointed but hopeful that I would see him one day .
    Imagine my surprise when again I went on to the church’s website only to read the news about his death. Dr Caliandro from my first meeting felt like a brother in the largest possible sense of that word, to me. He embodies for me the clearest and highest potential of humanness, and I am sure like all humans he had flaws. But his spirit and his being embodied how we are human, accepting, loving, open, patient, caring and deeply attentive. I knew with my Caribbean accent that he probably did not understand all my words, but I knew he listened and understood what I was saying.. For that I will always be grateful for the opportunity to meet him on my road through this human life on this planet.
    I wish his journey to the Divine Essence that is home, is sweet and joyful.

  27. I first started coming to Marble during the summer of 1989, thanks to my mom’s suggestion. The first minister I had met was Florence Pert. I did not meet Arthur until the fall as he would use the summer as his vacation time. I was amazed at the incredible energy in the sanctuary, the size of the congregation (the sanctuary was completely full) and had never seen a standing ovation for a minister before…yes….it was Arthur’s first Sunday back and my first day meeting him. I remember simply being in awe by Arthur and had never before been so mesmerized by a sermon! I knew that I had found my new church home and became a member only a few months later. Arthur meant a lot to me. Whenever I spoke to him or shook his hand I knew that he cared about me. It’s as if he blocked out everything going on around him and would only focus on me and what I had to say. He was special. He also took risks during his ministry which I welcomed. For example, he was instrumental in getting the GIFTS group out in the open when previously we were a secret, tiny little group of 6-8 people . The group is now quite massive thanks to Arthur’s drive and passion. SInce his memorial service, I have dusted off all of his books and dug deep into them to be inspired once again my his great words. As I read each passage I can hear his wonderful words of wisdom, so clear…..so audible. I miss Arthur terribly and will never ever forget him. He changed my life . I am so glad that I got to shake his hand after his last sermon at Marble and speak to him briefly (the line of people waiting was nearly out the door). I had asked him if he were planning on moving back to Maine and he said: “No. It’s too cold”. Lol! That was Arthur! And had the luxury of meeting his wonderful wife Sandy too that day and had wished that I had met her sooner as she was such a delight.

  28. I am very sorry to learn of Dr. Caliandro’s passing. I live in Toronto and from time to time would visit your website and listend to Dr. Caliandro’s homilies. I was always comforted and encouaged by his words…a great blessing. Some I carry around in my wallet. I am now a student at Emmanuel College here is Toronto. My passion is homiletics. Dr. Caliandro was of course a master, someone to pattern oneself after. Please accept my condolences.
    BTW, after Dr. Caliandro retired I had occasion to visit NY whilst Dr. Brown was presiding. I could feel the warmth of the parish. I hope I have an opportunity to visit your parish soon.


  29. Hi Jeff,
    Thank you for your wonderful words and for putting a smile on my face on my face about that day Arthur preached his last sermon. Yes, that line was almost out the door and he loved it! How he loved to connect with the individuals in his congregation!!! At some point after an hour or so when people were still getting in line, he heard a concerned staff person say,
    “Arthur looks tired maybe we should stop people from lining up now”, when he overheard this he said “no way!!” loud and clear! Funny the next line out the door for him was his memorial! I’m sure he was smiling down as he watched me stand in line over 2 hours and greet people as they told me how much they loved him! Like you, I’m getting out the books and listening to the old sermons but one thing we can be sure of, his spirit will never leave Marble or us that loved him!
    Sandra Graham Caliandro

    • Hi Sandy! I just wanted to tell you that it was a joy getting reconnected with you after the church service today. You are such a delight to talk to. All of those great memories of Arthur warm my heart and make me smile. He truly helped to make me the Christian that I am today.Let’s keep in touch! Jeff

      • Hi Jeff,
        So great to see you today and put your face and name together again! It was a great service wasn’t it? Arthur LOVED Michael Brown! I’m so glad to see Marble still going strong!
        See you soon and stay in touch-

  30. I was a member of Marble from 1967 – 1969. That seems to be a short time but certainly long enough for me to get become a good friend with Art. At the time he and Florence and George Pert were leading a small group of young couples. It was during this time that I had one of those special experiences when I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I so enjoyed telling Art about it and he was thrilled for me. He was a very special friend. My wife and I now work in Kosovo and have our own Sunday service in our flat that is led by Dr. Arthur Caliandro. We so love his sermons. I feel so honor that my life crossed his during that short time. He was also a dear friend of my sister, Lynn Shelton, who was a member in the 1960s and 70s.

  31. Dear James,
    Thank you for your very special email. It is so amazing to me that my husband Arthur, even though absent from this earth, can still lead a Sunday morning worship service through his sermons and yet in Kosovo!! Your story is such a blessing to me, I appreciate so much your sharing!
    Sandra Graham Caliandro

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