The following letter was written by the father of a 20-year-old California student at Thomas Aquinas College, who was killed on July 20. Click here for previous story.
Millions of fathers have had to come to grips with the tragic, untimely deaths of a beloved child. I am no different, and no different in wanting my son remembered for the unique and good man that he was. Here are a few pieces of his story.
Andrew, our beloved son, was hit by a car while walking along an Indiana highway with Crossroads, a pro-life group that sponsors college students on walks across America each summer. He died instantly. In this modern world, we’d reflexively add that he died doing what he loved — a somewhat true but strangely self-focused way to see it. What Andrew loved was not, exactly, the pro-life movement. In fact, I can safely say he pretty much hated praying in front of the local abortion mill, and had a very hard time making himself say anything to the people as they walked by. He hated the occasional mockery and confrontations. He hated being there alone most mornings. There was none of that peculiar self-righteousness that is the hallmark of the secular protests us residents of the San Francisco Bay Area see, the patting of oneself on the back for sticking it to the man while hooting it up for the cameras. Andrew’s mostly solitary protests were not a party, and were hardly even a protest. There was no man to stick it to — only women faced with a terrible ‘choice.’
What Andrew did love was the Truth. Decades of deconstruction, of Orwellian ‘critical thinking,’ have succeeded in painting the love of Truth as some sort of disorder, as naïve and simplistic — Andrew, by some mysterious grace, was immune to this poison. While he might have been naïve and simplistic about many things, his intellect, by another mysterious grace, was profound and mature far beyond his years. His love of Truth led him to a love of God, to a love of neighbor, to Thomas Aquinas College — and to untold lonely hours spent in front of Planned Parenthood. And to the walk that resulted in his being taken from us.
Once Andrew understood the truth, he saw no way he could escape spending hours praying on the sidewalk. Nor — and this is critically important — helping out at all the crisis pregnancy support groups in the area. He is well known and well loved by the people at Concord Birth Right and at the Gabriel Project, as he always showed up to help whenever they needed him. He knew that success was not defined by simply talking a women out of getting an abortion — success meant that he — and all of us — stepped up to help, to love that woman and her baby unconditionally and materially for the rest of their lives.
But on a much deeper level, he understood that embracing the truth meant, ultimately, embracing the Cross. There is a heavy price to pay for loving people. We will fail, and we will be ridiculed, and we will be spat upon by those we try to help. But that is nothing compared to the suffering when we succeed, when we will the good of the other for the sake of the other. The pain we then feel, if we are so blessed, is the slow death of our selves.
Some people have called Andrew a martyr. I can understand why, but it makes me very uncomfortable. In the popular imagination, a martyr gets dragged in front of a firing squad or thrown to the lions. Since Andrew’s death was nothing so dramatic, calling him a martyr risks making his sacrifice merely hyperbolic and therefore easily dismissed. At the same time, martyrdom is the correct and traditional way to describe the process of dying to one’s self for the sake of God through the selfless love of others. Understood in that way, Andrew’s life was a martyrdom, and I cannot feel he was cheated in any way by how short it was. For the rest of us, his death remains a tragedy and a mystery. May God have mercy on his soul, and console the inconsolable.
Funeral / Memorial Information
Vigil: Monday, July 30, 7:00 p.m. at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church, Concord, Ca.
Funeral Mass: Tuesday, July 31, 1:00 p.m. at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church
Interment: Following Mass, about 2:30 p.m. at Queen of Heaven Cemetery
Reception: Following Interment, about 4:00 p.m. at the hall at Queen of All Saints Church
Thank you Mr.Young. “What Andrew did love was the Truth.” The precious golden apple does not fall far from the tree.
Oh my heavens. It is easy to see how this young man chose to live as he did and why he chose to attend a school such as Thomas Aquinas College. If all our children were so fortunate as to be brought up by parents such as this young man’s father, our world would be an even more wondrous place.
Mr. Young, with deepest sympathy I offer prayers for you and your family. May Andrew rest in peace.
“Once Andrew understood the truth, he saw no way he could escape spending hours praying on the sidewalk. Nor — and this is critically important — helping out at all the crisis pregnancy support groups in the area. He is well known and well loved by the people at Concord Birth Right and at the Gabriel Project, as he always showed up to help whenever they needed him. He knew that success was not defined by simply talking a women out of getting an abortion — success meant that he — and all of us — stepped up to help, to love that woman and her baby unconditionally and materially for the rest of their lives.”
this fine and grieving father is obviously not merely pro-birth, but truly pro-life…
Not all Martyrs specifically died for the Faith, some suffered other types of Martyrdom, some would call it dry or un-bloody martyrdom. In that sense Andrew is a martyr for the Pro-Life Cause just as Angela, I think that was her name, another student from St. Thomas Aquinas College was.
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
KENNETH, are you referring to the young lady who was walking with but was not (thank GOD) injured?
is she a martyr in your mind?
Hi, Max, My friend Kenneth is referring to the late Angela Baird (1978-1997), a Thomas Aquinas College student who regularly prayed and sidewalk counseled at a Ventura abortion chamber and who also visited and prayed with women in jail. On a hike in the mountains above TAC one evening, she fell 75 feet; grievously injured, she offered up her agony for aborted babies and for her Dad to find a job. She died in surgery in the early hours of Nov. 6, 1997. After that, lots of TAC students took Angela’s place outside the Ventura abortion chamber — and six years to the day after Angela died, the abortion chamber went out of business. Dear Angela Baird, please pray for us!
dear DO UNTO OTHERS — thank you for educating me about the death of this fine young lady.
i thought KENNETH was talking about the young woman who wass walking alongside andrew moore but (thank GOD) was not physically injured — i assumed he was making reference to a sort of “spiritual martyrdom’ for witnessing her friend’s death.
max, there is a white pill and there is a red pill; like Bl John Paul II, you make your choice.
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Moore, May the Queen of Heaven console your broken hearts. Thank you for that beautiful letter. May your trust in Jesus be stronger than your question of the mystery of “why.” God bless you and your family. RIP Andrew.
My husband and I and daughter and grandson were priviledged to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge with Andrew,s group as they started thier treck across the U.S. What faithful,dedicated and inspiring young people they were.What a joy to pray the Rosary with them. We told them “If we were ,nt eighty years old we would go with you!” We were so sad when we heard of Andrew,s sudden death.My daughter said”Maybe we didn,t pray hard enough for them.” We had a mass said immediately for Andrew and are continuing to keep him and his family in our prayers.Andrew will continue to be an example for us all and a bright light for the whole pro life movement.Andrew,pray for us. Bonnie de Rutte