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Book Launch of “Popong: A Compilation of Stories About Fr. Rufus Halley”

by Anonymous last modified May 17, 2019 04:58 AM

“In everything, we need to transcend. Let our faith be bigger or higher than our fears.” To people whose lives were touched by Fr. Rufus “Popong” Halley, the above statement is so clear, when in pursuit of a life that directly puts one in the line of adversity.

Book Launch of Popong: A Compilation of Stories About Fr. Rufus Halley”

by Rochelle Mordeno, JPIC-Mindanao Animator


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“In everything, we need to transcend. Let our faith be bigger or higher than our fears.” To people whose lives were touched by Fr. Rufus “Popong” Halley, the above statement is so clear, when in pursuit of a life that directly puts one in the line of adversity. His tragic death remains a great loss to the Columban Society, and even more so to the people in Malabang and other neighboring municipalities in Lanao del Sur where he was doing his mission. However, the impact of his life’s work remains felt, and in an attempt to preserve his legacy comes “Popong: A Compilation of Stories of Fr. Rufus Halley”. Fr. Paul Glynn, SSC, Regional Director of the Missionary Society of St. Columban, formally opened the book launch last February 7. Friends and comrades came together in a one-of-a kind gathering to remember him and articulate his legacy and its relevance to the situation in Mindanao today.

Ms. Mary Joy Rile-Servicio, who compiled Fr. Popong’s stories and works with the help of many contributors, presented the book. She cited that the stories reveal not only positive things about Fr. Popong but also his limitations, aspirations and fears while doing his mission, just like any ordinary person. Some of the most memorable life lessons Fr. Popong impressed upon the contributors are about his long years of advocacy for inter-faith dialogue, the importance of humor amidst strife, and the value of prayer.  Most notable is his great skill in cultivating friendships and his respect for other faith denominations.  Bsp. Edwin dela Peña said that maybe the ripeness of the timing of this activity to the present situation in Mindanao is Popong’s reminder to all of us to pursue our work for peace.

 

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L-R: Rochelle Mordeno, Fr. Chito Suganob, Vilma Arante & Mary Joy Rile-Servicio

Archbishop Ledesma, who graced the occasion, cited, “The situations of conflict need to be overcome by situations of dialogue. In the past, talking about Culture of Peace (CoP) was associated with polarization, suspicions, etc. I am happy to see that the mindset of people has shifted now. It has become a shared dream of everybody. Milestones like these prove Popong’s life and death did not go in vain. His efforts continue to reverberate among us, and may all these sustain our peace efforts today.”

 

 

 

 

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