82-year-old Swiss nun re­turns home

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY CHI- HAO JAMES LO

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.