Statement of Bishop William Lee, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore on the death of Fr Rufus Halley
30 August 2001
All of us here in the diocese of Waterford and Lismore were shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Fr Rufus Halley, a native of Butlerstown. Fr Halley had ministered in the Philippines since he was ordained in 1969. He had worked tirelessly for peace and saw his role as a catalyst for reconciliation between Muslim and Christian communities. He was deeply interested in Christian-Muslim dialogue.
In our meetings, during his visits home to Waterford, I was always struck by his friendliness and his quite extraordinary missionary zeal. Clearly, he was deeply committed to his ministry in the Philippines and I know he was loved by all who had the good fortune to be in contact with him.
As some members of Fr Halley’s family leave today to attend his funeral in the Philippines on Saturday, our prayers are with his mother, his brothers, his sister, his relatives and many friends.
We sympathise, too, with the Columban Fathers on their tragic loss. Indeed, the death of Fr Rufus Halley is an occasion for all of us to remember our missionaries who minister, often in very difficult circumstances, far from their kith and kin. Let us spare a moment today to pray for them.
One of Fr Halley’s favourite prayers was that of St. Augustine: “you have made us for yourself O Lord and our hearts are restless till they rest in you”. Fr Rufus died on the feast of St Augustine. May his soul now rest in the peace of the Lord.
Bishop of Waterford and Lismore
30 August 2001