This web site is a memorial to those individuals who were passionate about the reform of the
Roman Catholic liturgy as set forth in Sacrosanctum Concilium (the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy)
and who now, in eternal life, worship the God whom they served in this life.

Fred Moleck

Fred J. Moleck
October 10, 1939 – June 4, 2021

Fred J. Moleck, born October 10, 1939 in Keisterville, PA, died June 4, 2021 at Marian Hall Home, Pittsburgh, PA. He was preceded in death by his parents, Stephen F. and Elizabeth F. (Uram) Moleck, and his siblings, Stephen T. Moleck and Elizabeth P. (Moleck) Poundstone.

The following tribute was prepared by Michael Silhavy, Senior Project Editor for GIA Publications, Inc.

GIA mourns the loss of our good friend and colleague Fred Moleck, who passed away on June 4, 2021 at the age of 81.

Fred was a rascal. Seeing his name on caller ID, one never knew how the call would begin. “What did you have for breakfast?” “I’d like to speak to the archbishop.” were typical greetings.

Fred had long been a friend of GIA, and was part of the editorial team of our acclaimed Worship, Third Edition hymnal. In his role as text editor, he deftly negotiated the then relatively new considerations of crafting inclusive language in hymn texts as well as the modernization of archaic texts.

For over three decades, Fred was editor of the GIA Quarterly. His vast array of contacts in the liturgy and music field allowed him to bring well over one hundred respected names to the pages of the Quarterly. The GIA Quarterly continues to feature an unparalleled blend of scholarship, pastoral insights, and carefully considered repertoire choices thanks to his vision.

Fred was Director of Music for churches in Latrobe, Rector and New Kensington, PA, South Bend, IN, Richmond, VA, and Evanston, IL. In 2001, he became director of the Office of Worship in the Diocese of Greensburg, retiring from that position in 2005.

He was a frequent presence in the classroom at Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA, and Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, PA. He loved working the crowds in the exhibit hall at the National Pastoral Musicians (NPM) convention where his seersucker suit (commonly with a mustard or ketchup stain) and festive tie allowed one to easily find him in the midst of happy conventioneers.

He authored a practical and sometimes humorous book called A Primer for the Visiting Organist (GIA) alerting a substitute musician to what might happen in virtually any Sunday morning worship setting. To those who didn’t know Fred, or want to revisit memories of him, one can do no better than reading his TableTalk: Musings on Music, Church and Culture (GIA). Vintage Fred.

Perhaps as long as 10 years ago, Fred knew he would one day suffer from the effects of Alzheimer’s and he readily participated in medical studies focused on finding a cure for the disease.

He remained firmly rooted to his beloved western Pennsylvania even when living and working in Chicago, Richmond, VA, London or Munich. Fred earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, PA, and his PhD in musicology from the University of Pittsburgh and, in typical Fred fashion, hung his diploma not over the fireplace or in his study, but in his bathroom. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Fred was recognized by the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Liturgy with the 2004 Michael Mathis Award in Pastoral Liturgy, and in 2006, he was honored by NPM as Pastoral Musician of the Year.

The ending of his phone calls were equally as joyful as the start, frequently admonishing one “not to depart this earth before I do”, or reminding one that “I’m glad I’m on the earth at the same time as you.” He was a character, a scholar, a lover of the liturgy and liturgical music. Yes, Fred, it was a treat to be on this earth the same time as you. You will be missed; thank you for leaving us such a treasure of words through which you will be remembered.

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.