Remembering Fr Jerry Martinson SJ

Fr George Gerald “Jerry” Martinson SJ died on May 31 in Taiwan, 50 years after he first arrived in 1967 from the California Jesuit Province.  At the age of 25, he was sent to Taiwan and began working at the Jesuit-run Kuangchi Program Service (KPS).  He became a renowned television producer and host, known to many in Taiwan and China as Uncle Jerry, his screen name in an English teaching television programme he hosted.

In celebration of his life spent evangelising through television and film, here are five things for which Fr Martinson is most remembered.

Ignacio de Loyola now available on DVD

Those not able to watch “Ignacio de Loyola: Soldier, Sinner, Saint” in theatres will soon be able to watch it in their homes with the commercial release of the DVD on February 18 in the Philippines and in spring in North America.

Produced by Jesuit Communications Foundation (JesCom) Philippines, the feature film is a modern look at the story of St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, often called “The Saint of Second Chances.”

Puskat Film Festival gains momentum with environment theme

This year’s Puskat Film Festival received five times more entries than last year, when it was launched by Studio Audio Visual (SAV) Puskat, the Jesuit audio-visual centre in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.  SAV Puskat attributes the increase to aggressive promotion of the awards and the relevance of the theme, which is “Environment”.  Also known as the Ruedi Hofmann Media Awards, the inaugural Puskat Film Festival in 2015 received 20 entries. The theme was “Faith versus Corruption”.

“Ignacio de Loyola” previews at the Vatican

A special screening of the new film on Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, was held at the Filmoteca Vaticana in Vatican City on June 14.  An ambitious project by Jesuit Communications Foundation in the Philippines, Ignacio de Loyola is set to be released in cinemas in the Philippines on July 27. An international release is still being planned. 

Taipei’s National Museum celebrates Jesuit artist Giuseppe Castiglione

The National Palace Museum in Taiwan has opened a major exhibition to celebrate its 90th anniversary and the extraordinary work of a Jesuit in China.  The exhibition, which opened on October 6 and will last until January next year, is dedicated to Giuseppe Castiglione (郎世寧), a Jesuit brother from Milan who lived for 51 years in the Forbidden City after his arrival in China 300 years ago.

Album for Pope Francis in top 10 charts in the Philippines

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The album produced by the Jesuit Music Ministry (JMM) for the Philippine Papal Visit made it to the top 10 of the Original Pinoy Music (OPM) charts in January.  This is the first time a JMM album has reached the top 10.  “Mercy and Compassion: Songs for Pope Francis” landed in the second spot of the OPM list and in the third spot of the Overall best-selling albums for the fourth week of January.

A copy of the album was presented to Pope Francis when he met with Jesuits in the Philippines on January 16.

Winning with a focus on inter-religious dialogue

A short film produced by Indonesian Jesuit production house SAV Puskat has won first prize in the 5-minute video category of the SIGNIS Asia Media Awards.  “Dancing of Life” is about inter-religious dialogue in daily life as lived by the villagers of Demangan, Wedomartani and Sleman in Yogyakarta Province.  The film’s central message is “Many faiths, but one mission: love each other”.