Donny Moore’s religious journey to Naz


photo by Maddie Bent

Jazmin Hernandez and Maddie Bent

New theology teacher Donny Moore, is the father of two sons, Liam who is five years old and Owen who is one. Moore says there are many similarities between him and his sons: they share smarts, a sense of humor, curiosity, and a craving for adventure. 

Religion has always been a big part of Moore’s life. His grandma was a Catholic school teacher and many people in his life, including his Godfather, were priests. “It was a normal thing for priests to be at my house on a Friday or Saturday night, in the back yard with my mom and dad,” says Moore.  

Out of all his mentors in his life, Moore recalls his Grandma as the first. Moore’s Grandma worked with travel literacy programs going to poverty-stricken parts of the country, helping adults learn to read. Moore strives to follow his Grandma’s teachings and values. Prior to teaching, Moore served as a counselor at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center helping teenagers get on the right path. 

After helping young men make better decisions for three and a half years, Moore felt the system was not supporting the adolescents and was disheartened. “I believed that I was operating in a system of oppression,” said Moore

Growing up, Moore could see himself becoming a priest and going to the seminary at Loyola University. As he grew older, he realized by talking to his mentors, that becoming a priest was not his vocational calling. However, he realized that he was very passionate about theology, especially justice.

Moore’s first teaching job in theology was at St. Benedict Prep. a J-12 school where Moore taught three years. “I’m very blessed to have my first teaching experience because I think those first three years really helped to begin to form my philosophy, my approach, my pedagogy,” said Moore.

A big part of Moore’s teaching is making sure his students know that ups and downs in one’s faith journey is normal. “I have life experiences that made me question my faith. I have life experiences where I got angry with God and I have life experiences where I have lapsed in my faith,” said Moore. 

One of the things that Moore hopes his students take away from his class is that life is about relationships. For Moore, a big part of his faith is experiencing God through others. He believes that God puts people in your life for a reason, and we are blessed that he is with us now.