All it took was a wave of the hand or a touch of two fingers on your shoulder, that was the signal to let Fr. Arthur know that you wanted to talk. Sometimes those talks would go from minutes to hours, sometimes you sat and had a good confession. The blessing was the time you spent with this humble man sharing your struggles, sharing your dreams, sharing your life. And if you were late for class, all you had to do was tell the professor that you were talking with Fr. Arthur and everyone understood. How could you not visit with him, his joyful smile, his loving nature; how do you pass up a moment of joy?
Alum after alum will tell you how much a blessing Fr. Arthur was to their spiritual life during a time of formation and discernment. Whether it was coaxing a good confession, or just sharing about your life at the moment, he was always ready to listen. His goal was always to engage our students.
He had a technique of making sure to carry a good book with him, that he knew students might be reading or had read recently. “I usually had some classics sitting around, kind of drawing people in, I used to sit out by the dorms for like three hours, and then someone would come by and talk, and then it was like they were talking to their parents, and they could bring in the thing,” he recalled in a recent interview. The thing, of course, was that challenge or struggle that the student wanted to share with Fr. Arthur.
Fr. Arthur Pendleton, 90, went onto his eternal rest on the evening of Friday, February 21, 2020, in his home at the Belmont Abbey monastery. He shared his last moments on this earth with his brothers surrounding him.
Fr. Arthur served the Belmont Abbey community for more than 60 years. He dedicated his life to us. We give thanks for the gift of his life, shared so selflessly at the Abbey.
Fr. Arthur’s body will be received in Our Lady Help of Christians Basilica at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, February 24, with Vespers followed by the Rosary and the viewing. His funeral will be on Tuesday, February, 25, at 3:30pm with burial following in the Abbey cemetery.