Father Andre Masse grew up in Decazeville in northern France. He took over as the director of the south Lebanon branch of St. Joseph University in east Beirut in 1985. His stated goal was to provide quality education to Muslims and Christians in order to break down religious barriers between the two groups. On September 24, 1987, unidentified assassins carrying pistols with silencers smashed down the door of his office and shot him three times in the head and twice in the shoulder, killing him instantly. Father Masse was only 47. The motives of the assassins remain unknown.