May 29, 2020 – Fr. Donald J. Moore, SJ, was born in Flushing, N.Y., on May 11, 1929, the son of Patrick and Blanche (Staub) Moore. He attended Brooklyn Prep (1944-46) and upon graduation he went to St. Peter’s College in Jersey City (1946-50). It was on Sept. 7, 1950, that Fr. Moore entered the Society of Jesus at St. Andrew-on-Hudson. He pronounced his first vows on Sept. 8, 1952, and moved to Bellarmine College in Plattsburgh, N.Y., for his philosophical studies.
In 1954, Fr. Moore became one of the founding faculty members of McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, N.Y., where he taught Latin, English and mathematics until 1957. He then moved to Woodstock College in Maryland to study theology. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 18, 1960, by Francis Cardinal Spellman.
After completing his fourth year of theology, Fr. Moore went to Dublin, Ireland, for his tertianship. After that he returned to New York to Kohlmann Hall for one year as secretary to the provincial and sub-minister for the community.
In 1963, for a brief period he taught theology at Xavier High School and that same year moved back to the Bronx to teach theology at Fordham University until 1967. For the next two years Fr. Moore did further studies in theology at the University of Strasbourg. Following that he returned to Fordham in 1969, where for the next 35 years he served as a professor of theology. During one of these years he had a sabbatical in Europe, where he became friends with the wife and family of Franz Jägerstätter. Franz was a conscientious objector who refused to fight in Hitler’s army and was executed in 1943; he was beatified as a Christian martyr in 2007.
In addition to his duties as professor of theology, Fr. Moore also became the director of the MA program in liberal studies at Fordham and the interreligious dialogue investigator for the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Jerusalem. From 2000 to 2009, he spent half the academic year at Fordham and the other half at the Biblical Institute in Jerusalem. He was an encouraging voice for the Palestinian community in Israel.
Fr. Moore also served as superior of the Fordham University Community and of the West Side Jesuit Community on numerous occasions from 1980 until 2000.
Fr. Moore lived at the West Side Jesuit Community until 2009, when he moved back to the Fordham campus. In 2012, because of ill health, he moved to Murray-Weigel Hall. His health gradually declined and he died peacefully on May 27, 2020, after a life of wonderful service to the Church and to the Society of Jesus. May he now rest in peace.