THOMAS VERNER MOORE, O.S.B., M.D., Ph.D.

The Thomas Verner Moore Memorial Lecture was established by the Benedictine community of St. Anselm's Abbey in its fiftieth anniversary year (1974) in order to honor the memory of the man whose ideas and vision were the driving force behind the establishment of the Benedictine foundation in Washington, Dom Thomas Verner Moore, O.S.B., M.D., Ph.D.

These annual lectures are presented in joint sponsorship with The Catholic University of America. This collaboration witnesses to the contribution made by Dom Thomas Verner Moore also to Catholic University, where he served as teaching fellow, instructor, professor of psychology, and eventually as chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology over a period spanning nearly half a century. His life-long interest in the fields of religion and psychology is embodied in his role as founder both of a monastic community devoted to prayer and education and of a university department devoted to the study of the human mind.

Thomas Verner Moore was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1877 and did undergraduate studies at Fordham University in New York City. In 1896 he joined the Paulist community and entered St. Paul's College at The Catholic University of America in Washington. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1901. In 1903 he received the Ph.D. from Catholic University in psychology and began to teach there under the direction of Dr. Edward A. Pace. In 1904-05 Fr. Moore studied in Leipzig in the Psychological Institute of Wilhelm Wundt. He began the study of medicine at Georgetown Medical School in 1910 and did further medical and psychological studies and research at Munich under Oswald Kulpe. He received his M.D. degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1915. For two years during World War I Fr. Moore served as an officer in the medical corps with American troops in France and also acted as a chaplain to Catholic troops. After the war he resumed his teaching at Catholic University.

In 1923 Fr. Moore, with a small group of priest associates, entered the Benedictine Order and received his monastic training at Fort Augustus Abbey in Scotland. In 1924 he returned to Washington as part of the founding community of St. Anselm's Priory, near the campus of Catholic University. This new foundation was the culmination of his long dream of a monastic community to be devoted to prayer and scientific research. Fr. Moore continued his teaching and research at Catholic University from 1924 until his retirement in 1946. From 1939 until 1946 he was the prior of the St. Anselm's community.

In 1947 Fr. Moore's long desire for a life of contemplative prayer and solitude was fulfilled when he received permission to enter the Carthusian monastery of Miraflores in Spain. Although he later participated in the making of the Carthusian foundation in Vermont, he returned to spend his last years in the Spanish hermitage, where he died in 1969.