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On September 8, 1982, Most Reverend Emerson J. Moore, Pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Church and a Chaplain in the 369th Veterans' Association, was consecrated Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of New York by His Eminence Terrence Cardinal Cooke, Archbishop of New York. He will continue his pastorate at St. Charles Borromeo while assuming broader responsibilities with the Archdiocese of New York.

Most Rev. Emerson J. Moore was born on May 16, 1938, in Harlem. His mother and father, now retired, reside in West Palm Beach, Florida. He has two sisters living in the New York metropolitan area. He grew up in the South Bronx and attended local public grade schools and was baptized a Roman Catholic in 1953. After graduation from Cardinal Hayes High School in 1956, he entered the Minor Seminary at Cathedral College. After two years, he transferred to St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers, where he was awarded a B.A. degree in 1960, majoring in Philosophy.

Most Rev. Moore was ordained a Priest at St. Patrick's Cathedral on May 30, 1964. His first assignment took him to St. Augustine's Church, Ossining, New York, where he assumed the duties of an assistant pastor. He remained there until September, 1964 when he was assigned to Holy Family Church in Manhattan. Here he was assistant pastor to the then Pastor—Rev. Msgr. Timothy J. Flynn.

Mr. Rev. Moore remained at Holy Family Church for almost five years. During that period, he assumed pastoral responsibilities for such organizations as the Catholic Interracial Council, the Urban League, and the NAACP. He also assisted in the formulation of a study group involving United Nations Personnel on the Papal Encyclical Pacem in Terris of Pope John XIII.

Most Rev. Moore also helped coordinate the visit to the United Nations of Pope Paul VI. The Pontiff's visit was also focused on an important gathering of Protestant and Jewish leaders at the Holy Family Church immediately after the Pontiff's plea for World Peace before the members of the General Assembly at the U.N.

In the fall of 1968, Most Rev. Moore was transferred as Executive Director of the Lt. Joseph Kennedy Jr. Memorial Community Center in Harlem. This community center today serves as a multi-service organization for all age groups in the Central Harlem area. While at Kennedy Center, Most Rev. Moore assumed additional responsibilities as Director of the Central Harlem Office for Catholic Charities, of which Kennedy Center is one of the more than 250 affiliated agencies within the Archdiocese of New York. 

Most Rev. Moore remained in this capacity until the Fall of 1975 when he was appointed Pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Church, serving more than 1,500 parishioners in the Harlem area.

His expanded role in the life of the Church and community brought him into contact with many diverse organizations in the Harlem community such as Senior Citizen groups and the Greater New York Fund. He is also a member of MIA, the Ministerial Interfaith Association of New York, which brings together religious leaders of many different faiths. He takes active participation in the Harlem Urban Development Corporation which stresses the revitalization of blighted areas within the Harlem community. He is a founder and present Chairman of the Office of Black Ministry within the New York Archdiocese.

Throughout his career and while completing courses leading to a Master's Degree in Public Administration at New York University plus a Degree in Social Work at Columbia University, Most Rev. Moore lent his professional and priestly expertise to the New York Institute for Human Development, a non-profit private agency serving local community funding projects.

In 1978, Most Rev. Moore was appointed a Monsignor by the late Pope Paul VI. At that time, he was the only black priest so bestowed with this title in the United States.

In October of 1979, Most Rev. Moore participated in the ceremonies welcoming Pope John Paul II to New York and greeted the Holy Father personally when he visited St. Charles Parish and the Harlem Community.

In March of 1982, Most Rev. Moore was appointed by His Eminence Terrence Cardinal Cooke as Episcopal Vicar for Central Harlem and Vicar for Black Community Development throughout the Archdiocese of New York.


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