Editor’s note: The following is the obituary for Father Steven Moore.
Surrounded by family and friends, and giving directions right up to the end, longtime Alaskan and priest of the Archdiocese of Anchorage, Father Steven C. Moore, passed into eternal life on the afternoon of Friday, December 22. During his 41 years as a priest in Alaska, Father Moore’s roles were wide-ranging; many times, he was called on to provide a calm, firm hand in difficult situations. His diverse duties included those of parish priest, archdiocesan administrator, financial officer, legal advisor, publisher, cook and much more. Archbishop Paul Etienne gave thanks for his extraordinary life and ministry and shared, “The people of the archdiocese are saddened at the death of Father Moore. At the same time, we thank God for his priestly life and ministry, his leadership, and wise counsel. His loving presence and friendship are a great loss.”
Steven Carroll Moore was born May 16, 1949 in Redmond, Oregon to the late George W. (Bill) and Adele Moore and was raised in the small farming community of Harrah, in the Yakima Valley. His parents owned “Moore’s Feed and Seed” and were active in St. Mary Parish in White Swan, a part of the Yakama Nation. They made certain he made the 35-mile round-trip daily to attend Yakima Central Catholic High School, graduating in 1967. He began his studies for the priesthood at Mount St. Paul Seminary College in Waukesha, Wisconsin, later transferring to St. Thomas College in Kenmore, Washington, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in English literature in 1972 and a Master’s in Theology in 1976. On June 12, 1976, he was ordained by the Most Rev. Robert Whelen, S.J. as a priest for the Diocese of Fairbanks. There, Father Moore served as chaplain and teacher for Monroe Catholic High School (1976-1979), and as associate pastor of Sacred Heart Cathedral (1979-1980). He moved to Anchorage in 1980 and was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Anchorage Sept. 27, 1984.
Over the years, Father Moore served the Archdiocese in many ways: as vicar general 1984-2003 and from 2008-2010, and as chief financial officer from 2011-2013. He took a year of study at the American College in Louvain, Belgium in 1991. In 2006, he completed studies in canon law from Catholic University of America. In addition, he was director of the archdiocesan liturgical commission, a member of the college of consultors, moderator of the curia, member of the archdiocesan finance council, defender of the bond, ecclesiastical notary, associate publisher of the Catholic Anchor newspaper, and close friend to the late Archbishop Francis Hurley.
Among other achievements, Father Moore successfully led the environmental clean-up of the former Copper Valley School site, helped establish the Four A’s (Alaskan Aids Assistance Association), was a member of the Board of Trustees at Alaska Pacific University, and helped create the book Alaska’s Archdiocese: Faith in the Far North.
Father Moore served as a parish priest in various locations in Alaska: St. Francis Xavier Parish in Valdez, Our Lady of the Angels in Kenai, Holy Family in Glennallen, Holy Rosary in Dillingham, as canonical pastor of St. Christopher-by-the-Sea in Unalaska and parochial administrator at St. Andrew in Eagle River. In Anchorage, he was pastor at St. Patrick Parish from 1992 to 2004, St. Benedict from 2007 to 2011, Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral from 2015 to 2016, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton from 2016 to 2017. Archbishop Emeritus Roger Schwietz once praised his “flexibility,” noting that Father Moore moved four times in three years, to be where he was most needed. Father Moore was also a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, and a Knight of Columbus.
Just over a year ago, Father Moore was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer, and took medical retirement. He continued to preach as his health allowed, and traveled to Scotland, California and Arizona, enjoying fine music and friends. When his health took a rapid decline recently, he made sure he was able to end his days at home in Anchorage, with his family by his side. Even during his last few days, Father Moore expressed love, kindness and humor to those around, encouraging all to remember him with joy, celebration, and a raised glass of fine scotch.
Father Moore was preceded in death by his parents and his older brother Patrick of Stayton, Oregon. He is survived by his siblings, Linda Moore (Leigh Anderson) of Yakima, Washington, and Michael (Elizabeth) Moore of Spokane, Washington and his adored nieces, Kathryn and Chloe Moore. A vigil will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church (2901 Huffman Rd.) in Anchorage. A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 29, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral (3900 Wisconsin Street, Anchorage). Internment will take place in the Spring at Anchorage Memorial Park.
Funeral arrangements are by Janssen Funeral Homes through their Evergreen Memorial Chapel. Father Moore was a strong supporter of Catholic education, serving the poor, and assisting those in need. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lumen Christi Catholic High School, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School, the Catholic Foundation, or a Catholic charity of your choice. Memorial donations, with intended name of the Catholic charity, can be directed to the attention of John Harmon, Chancellor, Archdiocese of Anchorage Pastoral Center, 225 Cordova Street, Anchorage, Alaska 99501-2409.