Martin Quinn Moll at 83 - Catholic Courier

Martin Quinn Moll at 83

Martin Quinn Moll Sr., who over a span of more than 50 years was active in numerous diocesan causes — including extensive service to the Catholic Courier — died suddenly May 17, 2003, at his Pittsford home. He was 83 years old.

Mr. Moll, a Rochester native, graduated from Blessed Sacrament School and was a 1938 graduate of Aquinas Institute. He later attended the University of Rochester and Catholic University of America. He was a director for the United Servicemen’s Organization during World War II. During this time he became friends with Father Theodore Hesburgh, who later ascended to the presidency of the University of Notre Dame.

Mr. Moll became general manager of the Christopher Press shortly after the company was organized in Rochester in 1946, and he became its owner in 1955. In addition to printing books, magazines and publications for many large Rochester companies, he for many years published the then-Catholic Courier and Journal and Courier-Journal, which became the Catholic Courier in 1989.

Because the Courier’s offices were then located in the same Scio Street building that housed the Christopher Press, this led to frequent interaction between Mr. Moll and Courier editors, as well as such top-level diocesan officials as then-Bishop James E. Kearney and then-Auxiliary Bishop Lawrence B. Casey.

“He often stood in the shadows near to Bishop Kearney and Bishop Casey, but provided lots of wise business advice,” said Father Daniel Tormey, a longtime friend of Mr. Moll’s.

Bishop Kearney first appointed Mr. Moll to the Courier’s board of directors, and for decades the layman was frequently consulted on technical matters regarding the newspaper. In a 2000 interview, Mr. Moll said that the Catholic press is “critically important. It is the most effective vehicle of the general education of the Catholic people of the diocese.”

Around the time that the Christopher Press ceased operation in the mid-1970s, Mr. Moll began a 13-year tenure at St. John Fisher College, as vice president of development and communications as well as assistant to the president. Father Joseph Trovato, a Basilian priest who taught at St. John Fisher from 1959-89, noted that Mr. Moll also had worked on development campaigns at the time the college was founded in 1948.

Mr. Moll retired from St. John Fisher in 1990 and then worked as a real-estate agent while also continuing his advisory roles in the community. For 38 years he chaired the board of Holy Angels Home, which provided education for girls who came from difficult family situations. He was also a longtime board member of Aquinas Institute.

He was involved in campaigns to launch Notre Dame Retreat House in the early 1950s, as well as Brighton’s Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish — where he was a charter member — in the early 1960s. In addition, Mr. Moll belonged to the board of St. Mary’s Hospital and was a member of the Knights of Columbus.

“He did so many things, you would not believe it. I don’t know how he had the time to have seven children,” remarked Mr. Moll’s wife, Beverly.

After he had been away from the paper for a few years, the late-Auxiliary Bishop Dennis W. Hickey recruited Mr. Moll to serve again on the Catholic Courier board during the mid-1980s. Mr. Moll was one of a core group of advisers who assisted Bishop Hickey, then general manager of the paper, in carrying the Courier through a crisis period in 1984-85, and he continued to serve the paper long after the crisis was resolved.

In fact, according to Karen M. Franz, general manager/editor of the Courier, just days before his death Mr. Moll had been re-elected to another three-year term on the paper’s board of directors.

“Marty was a passionate advocate of the Catholic press in general and of the Courier in particular,” Franz remarked. “His commitment to this newspaper, through thick and thin, was remarkable.”

“On the Courier board and its finance committee, he always had an instructive story to tell and sage counsel to offer. He had a wealth of knowledge about diocesan issues and people over several generations,” Franz continued. “But beyond his impressive contributions, I will miss him dearly for his loving concern for the Courier and its staff, his charming wit and the joy he so obviously found in contributing his talents to the church’s communications ministry.”

For all of Mr. Moll’s accomplishments, Father Trovato likewise was most impressed with his conduct away from the public eye.

“In his own personal life he was a really faithful and loyal Catholic,” Father Trovato said. “He was a tremendous family man.”

In addition to his wife, Mr. Moll is survived by his daughters, Cindy (Jim) Williams, Patrice (Jeff) Pierce, Ellen Wurz and Betsy (Tim) Williams; sons, Martin Quinn Moll Jr., Andy (Lynn) Moll and Brian (Kate) Moll; 23 grandchildren; sisters, Margaret Muchard and Mary Elizabeth Coleman; nieces and nephews; and many friends.

Mr. Moll’s funeral Mass was to take place May 21 at St. Louis Church in Pittsford, with Bishop Matthew H. Clark presiding. Interment was to be at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

Donations in Mr. Moll’s memory may be sent to the Martin Q. Moll Sr. Scholarship for Student Leaders at St. John Fisher College, 3690 East Ave., Rochester NY 14618.

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