82-year-old Swiss nun returns home
Sister Marie-Therese Felder, a nun from Switzerland who gave the majority of her life to Taiwan, returned home recently due to her old age.
Before leaving, Felder attributed part of her decision to not wanting to become a burden to the health insurance of the country.
The day of Felder’s departure was attended by many, with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen ( ) taking to her Facebook to thank the nun for her contributions to the nation over the last five decades.
Felder first came to Taiwan at the age of 32 in 1965 when she ac- companied other nuns and priests to the eastern parts of Taiwan. After observing the lack of medical resources in mountain areas that are occupied by Taiwanese indigenous peoples, the group of Catholic missionaries decided to put their medical training to good use by opening a clinic in Guanshan Township of Taitung County.
The charity focused on providing indigenous peoples with proper medical necessities, and was also extended toward locals. Due to the amount of poverty in the area, the charity often gives consultations and treatment for free.
Felder’s Contributions Celebrated by Many
Though many were saddened by Felder’s decision to return home, a fleet of 60 motorcycles gathered around Taitung as an act of gratitude on Sunday to send the missionary off.
Around 20 people were also present at the Kaohsiung International Airport to say farewell to Felder on Monday June 15.
Reportedly, pastor Lu Chunyi ( ) and several church members gathered some money to buy Felder a business- class ticket, so that the missionary might experience a comfortable trip home.
Lu was quoted by local Chinese United Daily News as saying that the small gesture is the only thing the Taiwanese people could do for Felder now.
While departing, Felder was quoted as saying that she is grateful toward the Taiwanese people’s acceptance of her care, and that although she truly loves the county, she must sadly leave.
Yesterday, Tsai t hanked Felder and other foreign missionaries like the late Presbyterian missionary James Laidlaw Maxwell Senior.
Tsai said these foreign individuals played important parts in helping to relieve the poverty of Taiwan and to help counter the lack of resources in rural areas.
The chairwoman went on to say that Taiwan still has a lot to improve on.