Rev. Rufus Halley Society of the Holy Cross Columban missionary was a linguist and peacemaker who spent more than 20 years promoting Muslim/Christian dialogue in Asia.
A native of Butlerstown Co. Waterford, he was appointed to the Philippines shortly after his ordination to the priesthood in 1969. He lived among and ministered to the rural poor.
In 1980, he moved to Mindanao in the south of the Philippines and volunteered to engage in the Columbans' dialogue with Muslims. In a bid to break down the mutual distrust and mistrust, Fr. Halley integrated with both Christian and Muslim communities by learning two local languages and worked for many years in a store owned by a Muslim selling rice and corn.
Father Halley died, aged 57, on August 28 2001 when he was shot by would-be kidnappers on his way home to his parish. He was mourned by both Christians and Muslims in Mindanao. Both communities kept vigil by his coffin and hundreds of Muslims attended his funeral mass and burial.
Ar dheis De Go raibh a anam. May he rest in peace.