On the afternoon of October 13 local time (evening of October 13 Taipei time), Vice President Chen Chien-jen met with a visiting delegation from the Taiwan chapter of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God (SMIC) at the ROC Embassy to the Holy See.
In remarks, Vice President Chen said he was very happy to attend the canonization of Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes, a Brazilian member of the SMIC, and four other blesseds. He further noted that Catholic Sheng Kung Girls' High School and St. Joseph Hospital--two institutions operated by SMIC in Taiwan--have both done outstanding work. Indeed, it is through their work that they display their love for the Lord and their fellow human beings. As Jesus Christ told us: "Whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers, that you do unto me." We were therefore very excited, said the vice president, when we heard that Sister Dulce was going to be canonized, for it is a blessing that God has granted to Taiwan, and it is a blessing that the SMIC has won for Taiwan. We thank and praise the Lord, he added.
Noting that St. Joseph Hospital is located in downtown Kaohsiung, and that he himself grew up in the nearby township of Chishan, Vice President Chen said that from a young age he knew that St. Joseph Hospital is an outstanding medical institution. Prior to the canonization ceremony, said the vice president, he received an invitation to give a speech this coming December at Fu Jen Catholic University on the mission of church-run hospitals, and was already planning to mention the SMIC in his speech. Now, the canonization of Sister Dulce shows the great esteem in which the SMIC is held.
Noting that ROC Ambassador to the Holy See Matthew S.M. Lee (李世明) and all other staff at the embassy have been working extremely hard on "The Light of the World--Contemporary Arts from Taiwan," an art exhibit scheduled to run through next April, Vice President Chen said he was deeply moved by the exhibit. Thanks to the Lord's blessings, he said, Taiwan keeps getting better and better all the time, and the best thing about Taiwan, besides the beautiful land and everything in it that the Lord created, is the people of Taiwan, because we are merciful, kind, willing to help others, humble, public-spirited, and compassionate, so we should praise and thank the Lord.
Lastly, the vice president wished the sisters a smooth and successful trip, and engaged with them in a wide-ranging exchange of views regarding the canonization ceremony and the Taiwan government's efforts to promote the Long-term Care 2.0 Plan and other social welfare policies.