Rufus Halley

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Rev. Rufus Halley (died 28 August 2001) was a Roman Catholic missionary of the Society of St. Columban who spent more than 20 years promoting ecumenical dialogue between Christians and Muslims in Asia. A native of Butlerstown, County Waterford, Ireland, he was appointed to the Philippines shortly after his ordination to the priesthood in 1969, living with and ministering to the rural poor.

In 1980, he moved to Mindanao in the south of the Philippines and volunteered to engage in 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.[1]


Father Halley died, aged 57, on 28 August 2001. He was shot and killed 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 Halley's funeral and burial.[2]


The Auroro Aragon-Quezon Foundation in Manila made a posthumous award to Father Halley for his contributions in Lanao del Sur, Philippines.[1] According to the citation, Fr Halley “went beyond the ordinary call of a missionary as he exhibited unfailingly the zeal of senseless armed conflict”.

Archbishop Capalla of Davao described Fr. Halley as “a tireless and compassionate peacemaker and shepherd of the flock”.[3]


  1. ^ a b Profile of Fr Rufus Halley
  2. ^ Father Rufus Halley obituary, (August 2001)
  3. ^ "Posthumous award to Father Rufus Halley". The Catholic Communications Office. 14 May 2003. Retrieved 20 June 2012.