A little Catholic cowboy brings Mother Angelica to toddlers

Tomkin logo Credit EWTN 1 CNA

A new animated cowboy named Tomkin has won a Gabriel Award for the EWTN Global Catholic Network.

The EWTN children's program “Tomkin – the Catholic Cowboy,” a cartoon short, features the toddler Tomkin and his friend Blaise, a wheeled toy horse.

In the debut episode, the young cowboy finds himself in front of a television where he sees EWTN founder Mother Angelica say “we are all called to be great saints.”

As the series follows their adventures, it helps entertain children and teach virtues like hope and patience.

“We’re very grateful here at EWTN that we got the award,” said Sam Zamarron, a senior on-air graphic designer with EWTN who helped develop Tomkin. “It’s been a blessing to be part of EWTN, and to have all those who have supported Tomkin from the beginning.”

He hoped the award can encourage the team behind Tomkin to do more.

The Gabriel Awards are sponsored by the Catholic Academy for Communications Arts Professionals. The awards are open to both secular and religious television and radio stations and producers in the U.S. and Canada.

Nominees are judged for values, content, creativity, artistic quality, technical quality, and impact. “Tomkin” received a Gabriel Award in a children’s programming category.

The awards were presented the evening of June 22 at a banquet during the 2017 Catholic Media Conference, held in Quebec City. Michael Warsaw, EWTN Chairman of the Board and CEO, received the award on behalf of the network.

Zamarron said the creators of Tomkin were inspired to create faith content for children in the preschool demographic.

“We just wanted to fill the void that was there,” he added, voicing hope that Tomkin will help reach children who are “just starting to grasp the basics of the faith.”

Seven episodes have been created, with three more in development. Each two-minute episode takes a month to produce.

“The feedback we’ve received so far is very positive. People seem to want more of the episodes. We’re trying to fill that,” said Zamarron, suggesting the series might someday expand into a Spanish-language version.

EWTN Global Catholic Network is now in its 36th year. It is the largest religious media network in the world. Its 11 television channels, broadcast in many languages, reach 268 million households in over 145 countries and territories. The network also broadcasts radio via satellite, internet, AM and FM affiliates, and shortwave. The National Catholic Register and Catholic News Agency are also a part of the EWTN family.

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