CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 18 November 2017

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The faith of the religious media

TAIPEI (AsiaNews): Presenting the Golden Ball Award in memory of her old teacher and friend, Father Jerry Martinson, who made his name famous across China and Taiwan for his comparing role on the Catholic television network, the Kuangchi Programme Service, as Uncle Jerry, Louise Tsuei quoted him as often saying, “Working in the media is like an act of faith, because, since we cannot see the public, we must firmly believe in what we are doing.”
 
Father Martinson was honoured posthumously with the award for his special contribution at the 52nd Golden Bell Awards. He died on May 31 this year.
 
Tsuei, who went on to become a popular singer and creator of many albums as The Enchanting Generation in the 1980s, said she wanted to come back for what she called our friend Father Jerry.
 
“I have a unique respect for our friend Jerry who chose Taiwan,” she said. “He received the mission of spending a great part of his life in this land. He loved our island and our people, so much that he became officially Taiwanese. Now his remains lay at Changhua.”
 
Tsuei also paid homage to Uncle Jerry’s influence on many television personalities.
 
Her earliest memories of him are as a 17-year-old when she hosted her first show on the Kuangchi Programme Service. She still remembers with affection that the show was called Blue Sky and White Clouds.
 
She also studied English with Father Martinson to improve her ability to move into the international market. But she told the gathering that what struck her more than anything about the young Jesuit she met so many years ago was his deep dedication to the mission entrusted to him by his superiors in the media.
 
She told the gathering, “I just came to bear witness to Jerry’s generosity to our people. Now I want to go home to continue living my simple life.”
 
His brother, Father Barry Martinson, who is also a missionary in Taiwan, said in accepting the award, “Thank you for this great gift. My brother really loved Taiwan and loved the Kuangchi Programme Service and its mission in the media. I want to thank you because Jerry and I here found the warmth of a family.”
 
Uncle Jerry is remembered as much more than a face on a screen.

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