The Rev. George W. Moore, 64, pastor of St. Malachy’s Roman Catholic Church in New York and a 1991 Tony Award honoree, died May 3 in N.Y. of cancer.
At St. Malachy’s, which includes the Actors’ Chapel, the pastor served the theater community. His Tony Honor (an award formerly known as the Special Tony) was to have been announced May 6, along with Tony nominations, said Harvey Sabinson, exec director of the League of American Theaters and Producers.
Per Sabinson, the Tony Honor is in recognition of Moore’s “life-long commitment to helping the elderly and the poor.” He cited Moore’s founding of the Encore Senior Center, which serves more than 250 meals per day and delivers 80 more to the homebound.
In 1976 Moore was assigned to the West 49th Street church, which had become rundown as the surrounding area declined. Under his supervision, St. Malachy’s rebounded and the entertainment community returned to the church.
Founded in 1902, St. Malachy’s originally served the local Irish community. When the theater district moved north, the church began attracting performers and other theater professionals. In 1920 the Actors’ Chapel was constructed in its basement.
Moore turned the chapel into a day center for the elderly poor and started various social service programs. He was also instrumental in the conversion of a nearby YWCA into apartments for the elderly and the handicapped. In 1989 he took title to the Markwell Hotel, across the street from the church, in the name of Encore Community Center. The hotel was also converted into housing for elderly.
To showcase the talents of young actors, writers and composers, Moore began a workshop called Theaterspace. And for musicians, he inaugurated the Encore Recital program in 1979.
A native of Kingston, N.Y., Moore served in the U.S. Navy before attending the Dunwoodie seminary in New York. He was ordained in 1955 and worked in Pelham Bay and Riverdale churches before moving to St. Malachy’s.