With the passing of Labor Day weekend, summer winds down and we turn our thoughts to the activities of autumn: harvest, elections, the return to school schedules and homework. Parish organizations begin planning for October “Respect Life” observations College students head back to dormitories and the rigors of studying.
But tragically, at Thomas Aquinas College in Southern California, one member of the Class of 2014 is missing. Just after completing his second year at TAC, 20 year old Andrew (Kent) Moore set out from San Francisco with other college students on a trek to Washington, D.C., in the annual Crossroads Walk Across America. (www.crossroadswalk.com) Crossroads, founded in 1995, provides an opportunity every summer for students across the U.S. and Canada to walk on behalf of the unborn, praying their way across the continent with stops along the way at parish events to give witness to the sanctity of life.
Andrew was no stranger to the pro life movement. From his early teens he assisted the Birthright (www.birthright.org) and Gabriel Project (www.gabrielproject.com) organizations in his Bay Area community. He joined other Thomas Aquinas students in pro life walks and in peaceful prayer at abortion clinics. Crossroads seemed an ideal way to spend his summer. According to his father, Andrew was drawn to the pro life movement by his love of Truth, God and neighbor, including “women faced with a terrible ‘choice.’” In his entry on the Crossroads website Andrew said he joined the walk this summer partly because “I have been considering a vocation to the priesthood for some time, and Crossroads is a great way to work on my discernment: prayer, sacrifice, and separation from the distractions of the world.”
In Indiana on July 20, as he walked with another student praying the Rosary for unborn babies, Andrew was struck and killed instantly by a passing motorist.
The untimely death of a promising young man such as Andrew Moore always touches a deep part of our hearts, but there is more to this profoundly inspiring story that tells us a great deal about the family in which he was nurtured to adulthood.
Andrew’s uncle who lives in England flew to California to be with the family for the funeral. He then joined Andrew’s Crossroads companions in Ohio, and finished the walk for his nephew.
Only hours after learning of their son’s death, Andrew’s parents hurried to the delivery room at a local hospital for the birth of a baby born to a young mother they had taken into their home. Andrew had been instrumental in placing her with his family, convincing his parents that since he would be away for the summer with Crossroads, there was room in the family home for the pregnant young woman who needed help. On learning of this, Dr. Michael McLean, President of Thomas Aquinas College, commented, “One can only marvel at God’s providence.”
May God console the Moore family in their loss, and may he reward them for their selfless dedication to the most vulnerable of his children. May their powerful example of faith in action, even in the face of great personal loss, continue to inspire us.
(photo credit: Thomas Aquinas College)
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