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St. Louis Post-Dispatch Joe's St. Louis column
[November 14, 2012]

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Joe's St. Louis column

Nov 14, 2012 (St. Louis Post-Dispatch - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- For his work with the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem, former U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond has been honored by the Order of Malta -- a Roman Catholic group found almost 1,000 years ago in the midst of the Crusades and the oldest surviving order of chivalry.

The hospital is the only care facility in the war-torn West Bank designed for women and children in that area and treats more than 400 infants in its neonatal care unit. Bond connected the hospital with the U.S. Agency for International Development, which provided the facility with a $6.5 million grant.

Bond said, "... the real honor is due to the Order of Malta and the Holy Family Hospital staff who provide quality health care to mothers and babies in the West Bank and who have created a beacon of hope in this conflict-stricken region." The award was bestowed upon the Bonds on Tuesday at the downtown STL law offices of Thompson Coburn, where Bond is a partner.

To be specific, Kit Bond received the order's highest recognition of laypeople -- the Cross of Grand Officer "Pro Merito Melitensi" of the Order of Malta. The order was founded in 1048 and is officially known as the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta.

Bond's wife, Linda, was also honored for her work on behalf of the hospital.

___ (c)2012 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Visit the St. Louis Post-Dispatch at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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