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Bishop Des Moore dies aged 94, remembered for his pastoral heart and missionary work in PNG

Vale: Bishop Desmond (Des) Moore.

ALOTAU-Sideia Bishop Emeritus Desmond (Des) Moore, a Missionary of the Sacred Heart, died aged 94 at St Joseph’s Nursing Home in Kensington, New South Wales, on June 2.

Bishop Moore was a much-loved pastor for the work he did in Papua New Guinea.

From interviews posted to Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Australia on his 90th birthday, Bishop Moore said his desire was to “go to foreign missions” and was drawn to the order as a young man.

“The only people I knew who did mission work were the priests,” he said.

Bishop Moore’s first 12 months in PNG were spent in Port Moresby, where he worked with the bishop and the parish priest.

In 1970, he was ordained bishop of the 20,000sqkm diocese of Sideia, succeeding the founding bishop of the diocese, Bishop Francis John Doyle who was also a Missionary of the Sacred Heart.

“There I was for the next 31 years,” Bishop Moore said.

He was even knighted for his work in 1996.

The MSC website reported he accepted the award without fanfare as a mere representative of the many religious and lay missionaries working in the region at the time.

“It was granted to me by the Queen; I don’t know how that came about,” Bishop Moore said.

In his last few days, Bishop Moore had many visitors, including his niece, many fellow Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, and Sacred Heart provincial superior Fr Chris McPhee. Next month he would have celebrated his golden jubilee of being a bishop.

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