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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.

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Comments on this photo:

Jan 20 2008 16:57 GMT Minz PRO
Wow - Excellent !
Jan 21 2008 15:14 GMT Tom33
The Irish religious community's contribution to missionary work throughout the world is well known. A remarkable number of missionaries have made similar contributions with the same ending. The Philippines is definitely a challenge.
Jan 23 2008 01:23 GMT Jakeobean
Pat....it's so tragic when a committed person gives up all the normal pleasures in life and dedicates their life to helping others and to be killed.....wonderful tribute to wonderful person.....
Jan 24 2008 20:11 GMT abojovna PRO
Feb 06 2008 18:40 GMT gtc126
Very Interestin Plague and Story...Thanks Pat for sharing!!!!
Feb 18 2008 21:09 GMT Tom33
excellent history - there were many, and probably are some now still in the Philippines. Actually there is a shortage of priests in that the locals formerly used the priesthood to obtain a college degree, then quit. So
now you have to pay your own way to become a priest.