The faith formation teacher escorted the third-graders into church. He directed their gaze to the crucifix. "What held Jesus to the cross?" he asked them.
"Seven-inch spikes, right through here," one answered, as boys of a certain age might do, pointing to the center of his palm.
"No, here," another said, pointing to the wrist.
"Rope," answered a third. "They tied his hands to the cross."
A fourth boy raised his hand.
"Love," Andrew Moore told his teacher, Jim Crabtree. "It was love that kept him up there."
. . .
Love — and logic — are what made Andrew Moore spend untold hours praying the rosary in front of the Planned Parenthood clinic in Concord, where abortions are performed a little more than a mile from the home in which he grew up, much loved in a lively, critical-thinking and faith-filled family of five children.
Love made him hand out pamphlets to pregnant women, and their spouses or friends, when they'd accept them. Andrew wanted them to know there was another way.
And that love put him on a highway in central Indiana, in the early-morning hours of July 20, more than halfway across America on a Crossroads pro-life walk, where, while praying the rosary, he was struck by a car and killed instantly.
He was 20 years old.
He is survived by his parents, Joseph and Anne-Martine Moore of Concord, and brothers and sisters David, 8; Anna Kate, 14; Thomas, 16; and Teresa, 18.
He would never know the fruits of his ministry. But people at Birthright did. Sometimes a woman, or a couple, would walk in the door, clutching one of those pamphlets.
"Andrew told us to come here."
. . .
Andrew Moore began praying in front of abortion clinics in his teen years. It was a decision he had reached logically. His parents, graduates of a Great Book curriculum themselves, instilled the value of thinking logically in their children.
"We both have this relentless logic about the way we approach things," Joseph Moore said. "You think things through and you can reach conclusions.
"Andrew, as a very young kid, says, 'If these babies in the womb are human beings, and they're killing them right down the street, how can I sit at home and let that happen?' That's the way his mind works."
But Andrew Moore took no joy from praying in front of the clinic. "He hated it. It made him miserable but he went there every day," his father said.
"He was always second-guessing himself," said his mother, Anne-Martine Moore. "He'd say, 'I didn't talk to this person. Do you think that's a sin?' If he did talk with someone, it was, 'Maybe I didn't say the right thing.'"
Nancy Tomsic, director of religious education, recalled that Andrew tried to energize some of his fellow students in Confirmation class at Queen of All Saints to join him.
"He would say the rosary out there all the time," she said. With his peers, however, the "very gentle soul" did not get far.
"He was very present to the daily Mass crowd," Tomsic recalled.
And from that group emerged people with whom he could share prayerful moments on a sidewalk a couple of blocks from the church.
One was David Zarri of the Gabriel Project. "Andrew was somewhat shy at first, about approaching women and offering them a pro-life brochure," Zarri said. "But his confidence grew, along with his wonderful prayer life. He had certain innocence about him, and was very humble, yet he had a great way of engaging people in conversation."
Some people could not be engaged. "After enduring an especially hateful and personal verbal attack from a middle-aged man, I saw tears in Andrew's eyes," Zarri said. "I tried to comfort him and reminded this special young man of how the disciples considered it a privilege and a joy to suffer 'for the sake of the Name.' He took that to heart."
Another was Jim Crabtree, the religious education teacher who had remembered Andrew's "love held Jesus to the cross" answer.
Crabtree, a retired firefighter, described the prayerful vigils outside the abortion clinic as "very humbling." The honking and the cursing of passers-by could be hard to take, Crabtree said. His former student turned teacher.
"He taught me to keep quiet, be humble and take insults," Crabtree said. "He was very sensitive and he was not afraid to show what he was feeling."
Crabtree, who is the vocation advocate for the parish, arranged for Andrew to meet Rev. Lawrence D'Anjou, who was then director of vocations for the Diocese of Oakland.
"I knew his potential," Crabtree said.
Andrew also discussed the possibility of a vocation with the Rev. Paul Raftery, OP, who had been chaplain at Thomas Aquinas College. On a memorial to Andrew on the college's website, Raftery wrote:
"Everyone at the College could see that he was very devout, and was deeply dedicated to pro-life work. But what was not readily apparent were the pains he took to avoid even the slightest bit of discrepancy between his conscience and his behavior. His devotion and work for life was not for show, but because he realized he would never be at peace until he carried through on what he knew to be true. He was a good and pure soul, seeming to be headed for a religious vocation. Both us Dominicans and the Norbertines were after him!"
. . .
Andrew was blossoming as a student at St. Thomas Aquinas, where he studied the Great Books curriculum, as his parents had done, at a secular university, where they met.
A director from Crossroads came to the campus of 600 students and told the students about the walk, from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., where along the way they would pray and visit churches, raising awareness of pro-life issues.
Andrew wanted to go.
"At that age, when you don't have obligations that say, 'No, I can't take three months off,' what a fabulous thing, to walk across the country," said his mother. "I think that's a wonderful adventure, and doing it for a real reason."
When his father suggested Andrew might spend the summer working, raising some of the money for his education, he wrote to friends and relatives seeking the money he might otherwise have earned. He was ready for his walk.
His parents are keeping an eye on the walk. "It's important not to overshadow that there are kids out there walking," said Anne-Martine Moore. "Those kids are out there slogging."
Her husband added: "I've been worried about the parents of the other kids as well."
. . .
For a time, the Crossroads walkers came to a halt. "We ceased everything soon after it happened," said Jim Nolan, president of the Columbia, Maryland, organization. In its 18 years of operation, there had never been a fatality.
Meetings were set up with priests and counseling was made available in Indianapolis for the walkers. "We helped them start working through this loss," Nolan said. They were encouraged to call home.
They were invited to consider to "do what God was calling them to do," Nolan said. For those who felt called to return home, Nolan said, transportation home would be provided.
"All decided to finish the last three weeks in honor of Andrew and his effort," he said.
Meanwhile, Crossroads heard from families that had hosted Andrew on the journey. One priest offered to concelebrate his funeral.
The eight walkers are expected to arrive in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 11.
. . .
The last Sunday Mass Andrew attended was at St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Church in St. Louis, where Msgr. Norbert Ernst has hosted a Crossroads group each summer.
Joined by fellow walker Sabrina Walter, he told the parishioners, who already have a deep pro-life commitment, about their work.
The following week, Msgr. Ernst told his congregation about the young man killed during the Crossroads walk.
"When I told them it was Andrew, there was a gasp," he said.
The parish had a second collection for his family, to help pay for the cost of his funeral.
Parishioners reached deep into their pockets.
"Usually, on a loose collection, there are ones and fives," the monsignor said. "The ushers remarked there had been many 20s."
The parish is sending more than $5,000 and a sympathy card to the Moore family.
. . .
Within hours of learning their of their son's death, Joseph and Anne-Martine Moore found themselves en route to the hospital in the middle of the night. The young expectant mother who had been living with them — in Andrew's room, because he was away for the summer — had gone into labor.
She had been matched up with the Moores through the Gabriel Project.
A few days later, a healthy newborn entered their home.
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