Requiem Mass for Brian Moore

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St Andrew’s Cathedral, Dundee, was packed for the Requiem Mass of Brian Moore on Friday 19th January, 2024. Celebrant Canon Kevin Golden was joined in the sanctuary by Mgr Ken McCaffrey, Mgr Aldo Angelosanto, Fr Jim Walls, Fr Gregory Murphy OP, Mgr Patrick McInally and Fr Jamie McMorrin (St Andrews & Edinburgh).

Reflecting on the words of scripture, Mgr McInally, a personal friend for over 50 years, said:

“The phrase ‘Do Not be afraid’ (or equivalent translations) is the most commonly repeated phrase in the Bible. It appears over 100 times in the OT and 44 times in the NT.

“In the infancy narratives, for example which we heard over the Christmas Season, Mary is greeted by the angel Gabriel with the words ‘Do not be afraid, you are going to conceive and bear a son, whom you will call Jesus. The angel also appeared to Joseph in a dream and said ‘Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child she has conceived is from the Holy Spirit. On the hillside outside Bethlehem the angel proclaimed to the shepherds ‘Do not be afraid, I bring you news of great joy, a Saviour has been born to you: he is Christ the Lord.

“And, today, in John’s Gospel we heard the words of Jesus to his disciples at the Last Supper: ‘Do not be afraid or do not let your hearts be troubled … I am going now to prepare a place for you and after I have gone I will return to take you with me so that where I am you may be too’.

“Brian Moore, whom we remember today with love and great affection, has gone from us to go to the place Christ has promised and prepared for him in the Kingdom of Heaven; ‘for’ as Jesus said to his disciples, ‘there are many rooms in my Father’s house’. St Paul, writing to the early Christian Church also said: “Our true home is in heaven”.

“Although we are saddened at the death of a loved one, our Christian faith assures us that separation is only a temporary one; that one day we will see Brian again and once more enjoy his friendship. As Christians we believe that, at the moment of death, life is changed – not ended. Today we also remember the comforting words Jesus said to Martha at the death of her brother Lazarus: ‘I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me even though he dies will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die’. 

“This is our faith, this is our hope, and it is with such words as these that we should comfort one another.”

Mgr McInally then gave this very personal eulogy

“Brian Moore was born on 2nd October 1947, one of three boys, to Joseph and Helen Moore. He grew up in Dundee and lived at the foot of Roseangle before moving to Rankin Street. He studied at Lawside Academy before taking up a Scottish School of Physical Education Course at Jordanhill College, Glasgow. Initially, Brian wanted to become a professional footballer but chose instead to go into teaching. For which many are grateful he did.

“I first met Brian and his late wife Eleanor when they attended St Joseph’s Youth Club, where I was a parishioner. We became good friends, so much so that when I went off to seminary Eleanor used to write to me regularly. Fr Tony Boyle the assistant priest at St Joseph’s at the time used to tease her that the letters were being censored. Anyhow the occasionally risqué stories which she sometimes included in her writings always got through.

“Brian and Eleanor married here in St Andrew’s Cathedral on 4th April 1972. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to be at the wedding because I was completing my studies at the Scots College Valladolid, before being ordained here just a couple of months later on 8th July 1972. I used to visit them regularly at their home in Bro’ Ferry. They were blessed with two children: Adrian and Lissa.

“When Eleanor died very suddenly on 31st August 1998, I was able to concelebrate the Funeral Mass which, Adrian tells me, brought Brian great comfort. I thank Canon Kevin for allowing me to concelebrate Brian’s funeral today. It helps to acknowledge the friendship we shared during his life.

During his teaching career Brian taught Physical Education at Lawside, St. Michael’s, St. John’s, St. Saviour’s and Grove Academy where he spent 20 years. Many of you here present will no doubt remember (fondly, perhaps) being tormented at school either for forgetting to bring their PE kit or trying to cheat their way out of tasks, especially doing a cross country run, and then being made to do extra laps around Dawson Park. My Parish Administrator, Fiona Findlay, remembers Brian well from her time as a student at Lawside: 50 years on she remembers particularly having to write out 100 lines – ‘Supercilious giggling and talking out of turn will not be tolerated in Mr Moore’s religious education class’. She still remembers every word she had to write that day.

“One of Brian’s great passions was hockey, and he was the driving force behind many people taking up the sport. Adrian and Lissa are very thankful to the hockey community locally, across Scotland and around the world for all the wonderful comments and memories so many people have shared – they are words that have brought them so much comfort, and make them incredibly proud to know the influence Brian had on so many people. In his retirement, Brian was a hockey umpire, and later joined the technical teams at tournaments as far afield as South Africa and Hong Kong from where he had attended a tournament in November last year, shortly before he died.

“Brian was a very committed Catholic Christian, always willing to help where required.

“He was a member of the Dundee and Perth and Stirling Circles of the Catenians, and a member of the Ampleforth Lourdes Hospitalité. He accompanied them to Lourdes last summer after the COVID restrictions had been lifted. In Lourdes he was well known for stopping the traffic outside the Lourdes Sanctuary in his red Royal Stewart kilt, and enjoyed telling the Gendarme: “Son, you’re just going to have to wait!”

“Brian was very fond of dogs, especially his ever-faithful black labrador, Duke (who only ever went in the huff when Dad went to Holland on School trips). One evening, when Brian was in Holland, Duke escaped from the garden, only to be found taking himself on their usual evening walk looking for Brian. As per Brian’s wishes, Duke is at his feet in the coffin. Lissa and Brian’s dogs Misty and Indie were Brian’s recent best canine friends who he encouraged to break the no-sofa rule – and their diets. “You can’t not give them the steak pie tin to lick” was commonly heard on New Year’s Day.

“In telling a story Brian would often say “to cut a long story sideways”, while proceeding to tell you about people you had no clue to who they actually were. Brian knew so many people, and often met people with a Dundee/Lochee connection wherever he went – including cafes on the other side of the world.

“I finish with a couple of quotes from the notes which Adrian sent me.”

‘To sum up my Dad: there was never anyone he wouldn’t go out of his way to help – whether it be looking out for kids at school who otherwise would have missed out on lots of opportunities; or Lissa and my school and uni friends who he would happily chauffeur to wherever they needed to go – or be  surrogate dad to whilst they were far from home (including offering up his garage for storage during holidays). Not to mention helping colleagues, team mates, parishioners, friends and family: giving lifts, sending flowers, or simply keeping them in his prayers. He always put others before himself!

My Dad died on 23rd December in Malta. He was happily bossing people and traffic about from the open-top sightseeing bus only ten minutes before he died, and  spent the tour pointing out statues of Our Lady – who he had a special devotion to’.

“As we remember Brian today with love and great affection we commend him to God’s goodness and mercy and pray for the happy repose of his soul.”

Eternal rest …

Follow this link for the livestream recording from the Mass.