On a first Saturday, February 3, 2024, the international Mariological community lost one of its finest sons. Monsignor Arthur Burton Calkins was taken home after a fall and ensuing brain injury. Known globally for his documentation of the Mariological writings of St. John Paul II — in fact often recognized as the world’s expert on the subject — Msgr. Calkins was also a courageous defender and lucid articulator on the subject of Marian Coredemption. He dedicated his last great conference presentation at the Franciscan University of Steubenville to Marian Coredemption, the text of which is herein published in his honor and memory.


Monsignor Arthur B. Calkins was born in Erie, Pennsylvania on April 18, 1945. After attending St. Joseph Elementary Catholic School, he studied at St. Mark Seminary High School (1959–1963). After two years at Gannon University in Erie, he went on to earn a BA in Scholastic Philosophy (1966) from St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore. He continued his studies for the priesthood at the Catholic University of America where he received his STB in 1969 and his MA in Sacred Theology in 1971. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1970 for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. From 1970–1983, Fr. Arthur served in various parishes, studied at Oxford University (1972–1974), and taught at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans (1976–1977). From 1983–1984, he studied at the International Marian Research Institute [IMRI] in Dayton, Ohio, and he received his STL degree from IMRI in 1986 (magna cum laude). From 1984–1988, he served as chaplain at the Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Washington, N.J., which is devoted to the messages of Fatima. From 1988–2010, he lived in Rome where he was an official of the Pontifical Ecclesia Dei Commission — a commission established by St. John Paul II to help Catholics devoted to the traditional Latin Mass. In 1990, Msgr. Calkins received his STD degree summa cum laude from the Pontifical Theological Faculty of St. Bonaventure — the Seraphicum — where the late Fr. Peter Damian Fehlner, OFM. Conv, served as his thesis director. In 1997, he was named a Chaplain of His Holiness, which carries the title of Monsignor. In 2010, he was named a Prelate of Honor of His Holiness.


Monsignor Calkins was a prolific author. He published over 400 articles and book reviews that appeared in journals such as Missio Immaculatae and Homiletic and Pastoral Review as well as in volumes such as the New Catholic Encyclopedia supplements, The Oxford Handbook of Mary, and Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons — for which he contributed three chapters. His masterful book, Totus Tuus: John Paul II’s Program of Marian Consecration and Entrustment, was first published in 1992 and then published in a second edition in 2017. In addition, Msgr. Calkins edited an Italian anthology of the Marian writings of John Paul II entitled, Totus Tuus: Il Magistero Mariano di Giovanni Paolo II (Siena: Cantagalli, 2006). Recognized as a leading expert on the Mariology of St. John Paul II, Msgr. Calkins was also an expert on St. Joseph, the Catholic liturgy, and Blessed Concepción de Armida (1862–1937) — known as Conchita — a Mexican mystic and spiritual writer who was beatified in 2019. In addition to being a member of the Theological Commission of the International Marian Association, Msgr. Calkins was a member of the Mariological Society of America, the Roman Theological Academy, and a corresponding member of the Pontifical Marian Academy International.


Monsignor Calkins must be remembered for his courageous commitment to Our Lady’s unique role with Jesus in the historic work of Redemption under the title “Co-redemptrix,” as well as his public support for the solemn definition of Mary’s role in the Redemption. His support for this definition was often carried out within theological circles where his full Marian voice represented the significant minority. Still, Monsignor’s commitment to the “whole truth about Mary” —to use the term of St. John Paul II — remained unabated. With extraordinary scholarship, clarity, and conviction, Msgr. Calkins always testified to the classical and perennial doctrine of Mary, Coredemptrix and Mediatrix of all graces. He did so both in head and in heart as manifested in his concurrent promulgation of Marian consecration in his book, Totus Tuus: John Paul II’s Program of Marian Consecration and Entrustment. Monsignor Arthur Burton Calkins was a fearless, erudite, and compassionate defender of Mary Immaculate, the Co-redemptrix, during his earthly sojourn. He now will experience the abundant fruits of his Marian courage and love eternally. Father Arthur, requiescat in pace.