Pat Moore; and appreciation

Pat Moore, a priest of Kerry diocese, has died. I couldn’t say that I knew Pat that well, or that I was a close friend of his, but I knew him enough to know that he was one of the great people. Most people, when they die, leave some form of lacuna behind them; Pat has left a major one.

Pat had extraordinary personal magnetism; you just felt good being around him; he gave you his full attention, as if you were the most important person he was going to meet that day. And he always had words of praise and encouragement for you. He had a freedom within himself that allowed him to give his full attention to others; a man without ego.
He was a priest, and his priesthood was important to him. But he was someone who managed to be a marvellous priest while remaining free from institutional thinking. His mind was too broad and open for that. His vision wasn’t just for the Church, or Catholicism, but for all people. So it really didn’t matter to him if a person was going to Mass or not. Pat reached out to all in his own inimitable way.

Pat was artistic. He had a great love of poetry and literature, and was also involved in film making. Whatever eternity is like, I am sure he will have great conversations with two people he was close to in this life, John Moriarty and John O’Donoghue.

I was at the launch of the book he wrote about his sickness some months ago. I have been to many book launches, but none quite like that evening in Listowel. The crowd was enormous, and up front, among those doing the launch, there were no dignatories, no clerics or bishops, just the ordinary people of Duagh and environs, where he was parish priest until sickness took over. And they loved him; everything about the evening proclaimed that loud and clear.
He will be missed.

Pat had a deep faith, but his God was not a distant being in a heavenly existence. Pat’s God was alive and real for him among the people and the hinterland of north Kerry. He was as much at home with that God as he was with his neighbours, and was for those of us who knew him a reflection of the face of God.

I am sad that he has died; but I am so glad that I knew him.
May he rest in peace.