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Documentary pays tribute to slain Irish Missionary

10/22/2013 - 9:05 AM PST

Catholic PRWire

DUBLIN, IRELAND (October 22, 2013) - Nearly 12 years have passed since the murder of Fr. Rufus Halley from the Missionary Society of St. Columban. A County Waterford native from Butlerstown, Fr. Rufus worked to build peace between the divided Muslim and Christian communities in the Philippines by engaging them in a revolutionary inter faith dialogue effort.

Misean Cara is pleased to announce an upcoming radio documentary Remembering Rufus, which will be broadcast on Newstalk Radio as part of the Different Voices Series on Saturday 16 November 2013 at 7AM and Sunday 17 November at 6PM.

During a botched kidnapping attempt, Fr. Rufus was shot and mortally wounded when he tried to escape. His death resonated through the disputing communities in Mindanao in the Philippines. In grief and shock, Muslim and Christian communities came together and protested the needless death of Fr. Rufus.

A true peacemaker, Fr. Rufus learnt two new languages to communicate and create a dialogue with Muslim and Christian communities. He promoted peace and reconciliation by using a non-partisan approach to address tensions with both communities encouraging them to work together to create solutions. By creating a safe and conciliatory environment, Fr. Rufus facilitated positive dialogue to bypass the misunderstandings and violent conflicts that plagued the past.

Irish missionaries risk their lives every day to address some of the most difficult challenges in communities around the world. Listen to this documentary about one of Ireland's inspirational peacemakers, told through the words of some of his closest friends and colleagues.

* Remembering Rufus will be broadcast as part of Newstalk Radio's Different Voices Series on Saturday 16 November 2013 at 7AM and Sunday 17 November at 6PM.

The recent violence that erupted between Muslim and Christian communities in Egypt illustrates the precarious balance of peace and understanding. Now more than ever, the world needs inter-faith dialogue like the work of Fr. Rufus to build peace.

In Easter week 2013, documentary maker Brian Kenny travelled to the Philippines to tell the story of slain Columban Missionary Fr. Rufus Halley. Fr. Rufus was shot and killed during an attempted kidnapping in Mindanao, Philippines in 2001.

Brian started his journey at the Columban house in Manila and travelled deep into Mindanao meeting with Fr. Paul Glynn, who currently carries on the Columban work of interfaith dialogue. On his way he met old friends of Rufus from both the Muslim and Christian communities.

The story ends with Brian visiting the area where Fr. Rufus was killed. Accompanied by Fr. Paul who previously had to flee the area due to security concerns, they retrace the last steps of Fr. Rufus in a tribute to his good work that lives on today.

Remembering Rufus is a moving documentary which highlights the gallant efforts of Irish Missionaries working for peace between Christians and their Muslim neighbours. It is both a tribute to Fr. Rufus Halley and a testament to the ongoing work of the Columbans.

Brian Kenny | Documentary Maker
Fr. Malachy Smyth | Priest from the Missionary Society of St. Columban


Misean Cara  , 8 IE
Tara Finglas - Communications Officer, 


missionaries, Ireland, aid, international development


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