|Birth: ||Jul. 6, 1948|
Greater London, England
|Death: ||Dec. 6, 2002|
He was born in Bermondsey, South London, on 6th July 1948, the son of Alice and Edward Moore-half brother of Terry (Cox).
He would often stress in later years that he was from South London and refer to himself as a Bermondsey boy
His secondary education was at Raines Foundation Grammar School for Boys.
The inscription above the entrance to the (former) school building in Arbour Square, Stepney read:
'Come in and learn your duty to God and Man' - Gareth did just that and moreover he went forth, as we were exhorted to do on leaving, and did that duty splendidly.
The name 'Edelstein' was coined by Donny Lyons, our teacher of German, based on his initials GEM and it was richly deserved anyway, because he was a gem of a fellow. There was probably never a more brilliant pupil of that school throughout nearly 300 years of its history, and yet he was not a swot by any means-he was 'one of us'. One of his class mates recalls that Gareth had not studied one particular subject, but read a book on it the night before and on the bus to school. He passed the exam with flying colours.
He could speak many languages by his early teens and was an accomplished musician-hence the affectionate name Bach which we pronounced 'Batch'.
Quite often, he would play the school's grand piano at morning assembly, a role usually assumed by the staff from the Music department.
The warmth in his smile was engaging and almost saintly, which in a way he was. He was absolutely without physical aggression, although he could more than hold his own in an argument. In his teens he used to drink at a really seedy pub in Bermondsey called the Half Way House. They used to serve beer to him and his school mates when they were only sixteen. In fact, Gareth used to play the piano in there, much to the bemusement of the few old locals that used to drink there. He used to play the Rachmaninov prelude in C sharp minor, Chopin's Polonaise and the introduction to "Go now", by the Moody Blues.
Obituary from The Times December 19, 2002
Father Gareth Moore
Dominican friar whose academic and personal gifts made him an inspired teacher and hard-working servant of the Church
As a Dominican friar, Roman Catholic priest, philosopher, linguist, teacher and scripture scholar, Gareth Moore did much to sustain and develop the intellectual tradition of the English Dominican Province, as well as helping to restore the vigour of the Dominican General Vicariate of Southern Belgium.
His scholastic prowess went together with a gift for friendship, culture and enjoyment of life which was to remain with him until the end. In 1966 he went up to Corpus Christi College, Oxford, to read philosophy, politics and economics. From the first his main interest was philosophy. Politics held little charm for him, although an economic sense seemed to remain with him, and he spent a good proportion of his life as a friar as the bursar of Blackfriars, Oxford. He was subsequently to undertake a BLitt examining the writings of the later Wittgenstein. What particularly interested him was what he described as the "mystical" element in Wittgenstein's philosophy.
It was during this time that he refined that precise sense of language and the meaning of words that characterised his later writing and teaching; indeed, it was philosophy that was to lead him to religion, although he was initially drawn to the Buddhist tradition, an interest he retained. When completing the theology schools at Oxford as a friar he was the only student to opt for writing a paper on Chinese religion. He described Taoism as "too bloodless" for him and was eventually led towards Roman Catholicism and monastic life.
From 1967 he became a regular visitor to Quarr Abbey, a Benedictine monastery of the Solesmes congregation, noted for its austerity, fine liturgy and tradition of plainchant. Forsaking an academic career, he was received as a novice at Quarr where, at first, he enjoyed the balanced life of manual labour, prayer and study. He had also thought of becoming a Dominican — he had been a frequent attender at Blackfriars, Oxford, and counted several friends in the community there. Quarr attracted him because of the seriousness of monastic life and the personal draw he felt to a life of self-denial in the service of the mystery of God.
After a few years, however, the strain of renunciation of a more engaged academic and speculative quest, together with the focusing of life within the confines of the monastic enclosure, placed severe strain on his health and he left Quarr. He retained an affection and high regard for the monastery, and his favourite liturgical experience was to sing a Latin Gradual.
After Quarr he went to East Africa where he taught mathematics and other subjects in a boys' boarding school. He found the isolation from home both daunting and exhilarating. Life was hard but fascinating; he sometimes spoke of the beauty of the African night sky, the vegetation, or the thrill of hearing the lions roar at night. Religious life still drew him, and on his return to England he applied and was accepted as a Dominican novice at Blackfriars, Oxford. He was to spend the rest of his short life either there or as prior of the Belgian Dominican priory of Froidmont, at Rixensart near Brussels.
In Oxford, Moore seemed to have found his true intellectual and spiritual home. He made his Dominican profession on December 20, 1978, and was ordained to the priesthood on 22nd October 1982. His many academic and personal gifts meant that he would be over rather than under employed. During the following years he had a hectic schedule supervising the material and financial affairs of Blackfriars as bursar, teaching philosophy, as well as the Old Testament and Hebrew.
He was a great student and a great teacher, loved for the verve and imagination of his lectures and classes and his wide-ranging interests. He was once asked what he was to lecture on next and answered: "Hair in the Old Testament".
In 1995 he was elected prior of the Priory of the Epiphany at Rixensart near Brussels; he was re-elected in 1998. His concern for self-denial was exercised in Dominican life by the generosity with which he gave himself to the institutional and administrative service of the order. During those years he attempted to build up and remodel the conventual life of the priory. He welcomed new pastoral and theological enterprises and served as a successful parish priest, a role in which he had never imagined himself. He is credited by his Belgian confrères with helping to rebuild Dominican life in French-speaking Belgium and to create a style and vision of Dominican life that has proved attractive to a whole generation of newly admitted Belgian friars.
It was with some relief that he returned to Oxford in 2001 thinking that he would now be able to devote himself to study and to writing. He had already written two successful books, Believing in God and The Body in Context. It was believed that his best work was yet to come. It was a shock to learn that he had cancer and that his time was limited. He approached his death with the honesty and humility that characterised his life.
Moore was a Catholic priest and friar for whom truth was paramount. He could not bear to see a bad argument, and as a devoted Catholic and faithful priest he wished to see the holy teaching that he loved and believed shine in all its integrity. He never used his mind to diminish or to bully, always to enlighten and to disclose either what was true or what was false. He never wished to see true doctrine expressed in bad arguments.
It came as a surprise to him that so many people loved and trusted him as a shy and undemanding but faithful friend. It gave him great consolation to find that friendship extended towards him as he approached the end. Two days before he died, at his own insistence and despite his weakness, he celebrated Mass for the last time with some of his friends and Dominican brethren. As far as Moore was concerned, this was where all Catholic teaching flowed from, and where it led.
He died of renal cancer on December 6, 2002 aged 54 in Sobell House, Oxford Radcliffe Hospital
City of Oxford
Created by: geoffrey gillon
Record added: Jan 01, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 23691955