Mon, Jul 10, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Citizenship for two more missionaries

By Chu Tse-wei  /  Staff reporter

Father Alan Doyle, left, with National Immigration Agency Taipei service station director Huang Ling-yu holds up his Republic of China naturalization certificate in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liu Ching-hou, Taipei Times

The National Immigration Agency has granted Republic of China (ROC) citizenship to two US Catholic missionaries, Father Alan Doyle (歐義明) and Sister Mary Paul Watts, to honor their contributions to the nation.

“I am a genuine Taiwanese,” the 80-year-old Doyle said yesterday in Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese) as he received his ROC identity card.

Doyle, who has lived in Taiwan for 53 years, has worked to preserve and develop the Hoklo language for more than half a century.

He is also the Taipei branch director of the Maryknoll Language Service Center.

He has edited many textbooks and dictionaries to teach Hoklo to speakers of Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, Spanish and French.

However, language studies have not been his only focus. Doyle used to distribute relief resources such as milk powder, grains, flour and medicine in Changhua County at his “nutrition clinic” on Mondays.

He also set up a saving society to help local farmers apply for low-interest loans and has helped young farmers seek jobs in the north of Taiwan, offering them cheap accommodation and matchmaking activities.

Doyle’s naturalization follows a Ministry of the Interior announcement on Dec. 21 last year that an amendment to the Nationality Act (國籍法) would allow foreigners who have made special contributions to the nation to apply for naturalization without having to give up their original nationality.

Under the amendment, foreigners who “have made special contributions” or “are high-level professionals in the technological, economic, educational, cultural, artistic, sports, or other domains recommended by central authorities, and whose specialties are deemed to serve the nation’s interests” can become naturalized citizens if their applications are approved by the ministry.

Watts, also known as Sister Hua Shu-fang (華淑芳), is the founder and chairwoman of the St Martin De Porres Hospital in Chiayi.

She is to receive her ROC citizenship today for her dedication to disadvantaged patients in remote areas.

Now 85, she came to Taiwan in 1958. She also founded two other medical facilities: the Hai-hsing Clinic in Chiayi County’s Meishan Township (梅山) and the Chi-ming Clinic in Chiayi City.

She has devoted most of her life to Chiayi’s patients, and still works to raise funds for the hospital’s branch in Alishan (阿里山) and the Chung-Jen Junior College of Nursing, Health Sciences and Management, the hospital added.

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