New England
Kathleen (Doran) and Thomas Moore (both ’19)
Kathleen (Doran) and Thomas Moore (both ’19) | Photo: Matthew Cavanaugh

There was much joy and celebration on the campus of Thomas Aquinas College, New England, on Saturday, as Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel hosted its first wedding.

Standing before the Chapel’s recently completed sanctuary, with Chaplain Rev. Greg Markey officiating, Kathleen (Doran) and Thomas Moore (both ’19) were united in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. The newlyweds — both graduates of the College’s California campus and employees at its New England counterpart — are the first to marry in the erstwhile Sage Chapel since the College acquired the Massachusetts campus and transformed the building for Catholic worship.

“We came in before the Chapel had a center aisle, and now we’re breaking it in and walking down it,” said Mrs. Moore in the days leading up to the wedding.

The couple’s story is a bicoastal tale of God’s providence. It begins seven years ago, when the two attended the College’s High School Summer Program, but never met. It then continues for the four years that, as classmates in a class of only 83 graduates, they were never more than casual acquaintances.

“We missed each other for six years,” says Mrs. Moore. “I knew who he was, because he was in my class, but we never had section or seminar together any of the four years, and we didn’t really have any friends in common. I remember talking to him, very briefly, maybe one time.”

After graduating, both found their way to the East Coast — he as a residential director for TAC New England’s inaugural year, and she to work on the campus for the summer. In short order, Mr. Moore would become the new campus’ kitchen supervisor, and Mrs. Moore, its chef. Yet it would still take another year before they began dating.

“I remember chatting with Kathleen once, just making small talk when we first started working together, kind of asking her about what her life interests were,” Mr. Moore recalls. “I can’t remember exactly what she said, but I totally misunderstood her, and I thought she was telling me that she was disinterested in family life. And I remember thinking, very distinctly thinking, ‘Eeeeeh, it’s not a dating option,’ right off the bat. But that was me just misunderstanding, and then we didn’t happen to have a conversation that clarified that until a year later!”

When he got to know his future bride better, Mr. Moore’s impression quickly changed. “At that point I was just like, ‘Wow. She’s just great,’” he says.

Last year the College stopped contracting out dining services for the New England campus and began, instead, to administer them directly. This transition gave the Moores ample opportunity to see each other respond to challenges with poise and grace. “It was kind of a big jump, switching to trying to run everything,” says Mr. Moore. “But in that process we started talking more and communicating more, and that summer is when we started dating.”

One year later, they are husband and wife.

Following Saturday’s nuptials Mr. and Mrs. Moore headed off to Mexico for their honeymoon, after which they will return to Northfield to help their colleagues in the dining hall manage the High School Summer Program. But before the start of the new academic year, they will depart TAC for Denver, Colorado, where Mr. Moore plans to pursue a master’s degree in theology at the Augustine Institute.

And they will, no doubt, live happily ever after, save for one potential area of conflict: Which campus will their children choose for college — the one where Mom and Dad studied, or the one where they fell in love and wed?

“That is the question,” says Mr. Moore. “I’m from California, but I love New England. I think the weather’s great, I think it’s beautiful, I love the seasons. I’m all about it. Kathleen is not from New England, but from the South, and she’s just all about California. She thinks California is the best. I don’t know. If our children take after me, they’re coming out here; if they take after Kathleen, they’re going to California. We’ll see.”

May God bless the Moores for many years to come!