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Taiwan decorates foreign religious workers for dedicated service

Taiwan decorates foreign religious workers for dedicated service

Twelve foreign priests, nuns, missionaries and pastors were honored Monday at the Presidential Office for their decades of dedicated service to Taiwan.

President Ma Ying-jeou conferred the Order of Brilliant Star with Violet Grand Cordon on each of the 12 religious workers, saying that their work had brought serenity and peace to Taiwan.

On behalf of the Taiwanese people, Ma expressed his deepest gratitude to the honorees for their service in the areas of education, charity and social service.

According to the Presidential Office, the 12 religious workers have each served for at least 40 years in Taiwan, and one of them, 102-year-old Canadian priest Etienne Georges Beauregard, has been in Taiwan for 68 years.

At the ceremony, Ma highlighted their achievements, including the establishment of St. Joseph's Hospital in Yunlin County, which was co-founded by Dutch priest Antoine Pierrot 60 years ago.

Pierrot often drove the ambulance himself and helped fix medical equipment in the hospital, Ma said.

Responding on behalf of the honorees, Pierrot thanked the president for bestowing "such a great honor" on them.

The other honorees are nuns Theresa S. Kastner of the Netherlands and Miljenka Schnetzer of Sweden; American missionary Juanelva Rose; American pastors David Alexander and Daniel Freeman; and priests Brendan O'Connel of the U.S., Andres Diaz de Rabago of Spain, Gian Carlo Michelini and Giovanni Rizz of Italy, and Yves Moal of France. (By Claudia Liu and Kay Liu)

Updated : 2021-09-19 08:01 GMT+08:00