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Jean Le Beau says his decision to pursue a life dedicated to the benefit of others was inspired in high school when he read the story of Father Damien, a 19th-century Roman Catholic missionary from Belgium who spent his life caring for lepers cast out of normal society and quarantined on the Hawaiian island of Molokai.

“I felt that if you were going to do something for others, you should take it that far,” said Le Beau. And the French-Canadian missionary is indeed taking it that far, spending his own life with homeless Japanese — many of whom feel like social outcasts.

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