A prize for "hidden people": 30 people who improve the lives of others in the peripheries
The award created and given by Kuangchi Program Service (光啟 社) in collaboration with AsiaNews and the Chinese Regional Bishops' Conference. Prizes donated by category: social commitment; music; art; proclamation of faith; training and education; jobs for migrants; spiritual accompaniment; responsibility towards society. Pope Francis in favor of program called "Not I (wu wo)", which means: "Not I, but the people I serve."
Taipei (AsiaNews) - On 14 January, the first edition of the Selfless Service Prize (無 我 服務 獎 30) was held. It was given to 30 people who anonymously helped to improve people's living conditions and foster a spirit of reconciliation in their villages or neighborhoods of residence in the city and in their own communities, both Christian and secular.
The idea of this award - created and conferred by Kuangchi Program Service (光啟 社) in collaboration with AsiaNews and the Chinese Regional Bishops' Conference - was born from the "virtual community" generated by the Sunday television program Oh my God that now is ending its second season on Taiwanese television channel 37, with 25 episodes already aired.
Father Jerry Martinson (丁松筠 神父), who appears weekly in the program along with two young TV hosts, says that " every week our television crew goes to a place other than Taiwan and films the work of the Catholic community: many works and institutions are news to me and I have been living here for 51 years! Thanks to this program we are aware of the work of so many nuns, lay people, and local priests who have helped and continue to assist many needy people and to build a community of faith. "
The original idea was to show how Pope Francis' message, with its focus on the peripheries and the excluded, can become incarnate every day in the Taiwanese society. "We know of the great work of the Christian community, but it's still a surprise to see the abundant fruit of years of work and dedication," says Jessica Chuang (莊麗紅 社長), President of KPS.
Archbishop John Hong, who delivered part of awards and led the final blessing, said that "today we have awarded the hidden people who normally go unnoticed but who carry out the real work to help their brothers and sisters. Their witness is important and it gives us a great example and a great encouragement. "
The first personality to award the prizes was the vice president of Taiwan, Chen Jien-jen (陳建仁 副 總統), who wanted to find twenty minutes in his busy schedule "to be part of this gesture of gratitude to the people who support Taiwanese community each day. " He was followed by the Vatican envoy, Msgr. Sladan Cosic (高 德隆蒙 席), who said he was pleased to be present to represent Pope Francis and his spirit of closeness to people in need, following the example of Jesus. The name of this event (an award for thirty people who serve selflessly, 無 我 服務 獎 30) was born as a gift to Pope Francis last year by a group of Kuangchi Program Service producers. A fan delivered to the Pope with the Chinese characters "wu wo" (無 我), literally "Not I", to express the phrase: "Not I, but the people I serve." This phrase had attracted the attention of Francis, who had encouraged them to continue their mission in the same spirit. "Wu Wo" (無 我) therefore become the beginning of an award.
Some of the people were already awarded were interviewed by AsiaNews, while the vast majority was later discovered during the filming Oh my God. The administrative director of Kuangchi Program Service, Mr. Dean Ferng (馮益峰 老師) and Father Emilio Zanetti (蔡明隆 神父) say that "it was surprising to receive more than three thousand handwritten letters (!) In addition to other thousands of emails and messages on our sites in social media, during these months as a thank you for the program and as an encouragement to continue production to remember and re-launch our mission in Taiwan and in the Chinese world. We have been touched by the strangers who past have received support and closeness from hospitals, schools, convents, parishes, prayer groups, art workshops and countless other initiatives and institutions related to this generous mission in the name of friendship and solidarity that goes beyond the limits of faith, age , gender and ideology. It was a great start, from now on, every year we will continue to discover thirty truly selfless people ".
This year the winners are divided into eight categories: the first for the social commitment with Sister Loewe Marianeldis (呂薇 修女), Sister Hilda (何華珍 修女), Sister Petronelly Keulers (柯德蘭 修女) and Ms. Zheng (鄭 萊 頤). The second category concerns the music profession, the award winners are Mrs. Chen (陳鳳文), Miss Su (蘇 開 儀) and the rock band Yongchun Street Number One (永春 一號). The third group regards the art: Ms. Lin (林陳玉 里), Ms. Hsiao (蕭玉惠), Miss Chiou (邱碧霞), Ms. Zhang (張秀 錦), Ms. Chen (陳 紫 美) and Jiang director (蔣國良). For the fourth group, regarding the proclamation of faith, the award winners are Mrs. Huang (黃 貞 瑪), Miss Zhao (趙榮 珠), Ms. Wang (王世 芊) and Mr. Chen (陳磊仕). The fifth group is teaching and education, with Miss Wang (王 漪), Professor You "Long Man" (游 佳 穆), Professor Ouyang (歐陽 台 英) and Professor Wang (王 年 燦). The sixth category rewards the work for migrants: Mr. Mhike So (蘇 山石) and fathers Wu (吳嘉德 神父) and Peter Gerard O'Neill (阮文雄 神父) while the seventh, for spiritual guidance, rewarded Bishop Aboriginal Tseng (曾 建 次 輔 理 主教) his brother in charge of the infirmary Jose Maria Diez (狄 若 石修士), the young manager of Young Catholics in Kaohsiung, Miss Huang (黃 佳音) and Ms. Yao (姚凌森) who is very active in two parishes in Taipei. The eighth category regards fostering collective responsibility, and the award winners are Mr. Ou (歐 晉 德) and Mr. Sun (孫大川). Until next year!