“Lord, thank you for the blessing of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor in my life. Assist me to hear your voice. Give me the grace to respond with great generosity of heart.”
Victoria “Tori” D. Moore very peacefully returned to the Lord whom she loved on Friday, June 29, 2012 at Mid-State Medical Center in Meriden, CT. It was the end of her suffering through ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Tori was born October 17, 1956 in Medina, Ohio, the daughter of Robert D. and Shirlea (Hudson) Moore. Later she lived in Dayton, Ohio, where she became a dedicated nurse at St. Elizabeth Medical Center. A request came from the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor Health System for volunteers to give a year’s assistance to the Sisters in their mission in Senegal, West Africa. Tori and Brenda Copeland, another nurse from St. Elizabeth’s, responded quickly and arrived in Dakar in December of 1993.
After a month of immediate preparation, which included language and other enculturation, Tori went to Koungheul to work in the clinics. Some were located in rather primitive conditions in the brousse (the brush). Tori quickly endeared herself to the Sisters, her co-workers and those who were sick and needy. Many were women and children to whom she reached out with a Franciscan spirit.
After returning to Dayton, Tori continued to work in various aspects of health care. She was committed to the charism of Blessed Frances especially in her care of the sick and poor. She became an Associate of the Congregation in 1997. In the meantime Tori had married Wenli Huang and they became the loving parents of Lily Mae, who was only with them for a short time, then Olivia. and then Shaoshi -- whom they adopted in China.
After their move to Connecticut, Tori again became involved in health care, always with her loving smile and gentle delicate touch. Tori was a registered nurse for Mid-State Medical Center, a massage therapist, a teacher, and had a black belt in karate. She was also a Eucharistic Minister at the Church of the Epiphany, her parish in Cheshire. She, Wenli and the girls participated in Associate activities whenever they were able to travel to Warwick or to Brooklyn. Tori made her Permanent Covenant on May 5, 2012.
Sister Catherine Mary, a Franciscan Sister of the Eucharist, was Tori’s hospice nurse. Sister Catherine said that Tori’s continued openness to the will of God gave her strength and consoled her family and many friends and that Tori’s death was one of the most peaceful she had ever witnessed. Tori was lucid until almost her very last breath. She had individually embraced and encouraged Wenli, Olivia and Shaoshi, along with her sister and brother. She had weakly but consciously prayed and sang with those watching with her until during a final Our Father, she took her last breath.
Tori will be remembered as a very special person. As part of her Associate Covenant, Tori had expressed the desire to “. . . mindfully serve Christ as I serve others . . .” She also included this prayer with her covenant renewal in 2007: “Lord, thank you for the blessing of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor in my life. Assist me to hear your voice. Give me the grace to respond with great generosity of heart.”
Tori, you have been an abundant blessing to us. May you rest in peace and joy as you behold the face of Christ, whom you have so faithfully served.
Sister Marie Clement Edrich, SFP