CatholicsComeHome.org Airing in Diocese of Venice in Florida This Lent

Catholics Come Home® initiative kicks off on Ash Wednesday

Advertising campaign to include commercials on local TV stations until Easter

BOB REDDY
VENICE –

Venice CCH logo“An extraordinary undertaking” is how Bishop Frank J. Dewane describes Catholics Come Home®, a program of evangelization to welcome people to the Catholic Church. The program will kick off Ash Wednesday (March 9) with a regional media campaign and a wide variety of parishioners ready to welcome home inactive Catholics to their Church communities.

Bishop Dewane said, “During Lent … the Diocese of Venice is undertaking a dramatic initiative to invite and welcome back our brothers and sisters who have been away from the Church.”

This collaborative effort between the Diocese of Venice and nonprofit CatholicsComeHome.org incorporates compelling, professionally produced television commercials about the Catholic faith, airing on major television networks in the state, combined with parish programs preparing people to welcome those returning to or seeking information from the Catholic Church. A link on the Diocese home page (www.dioceseofvenice.org) has been created in support of parish efforts and to provide information to Catholics who are interested in coming home.

The commercials, created by the CatholicsComeHome.org, were developed with a particular emphasis on encouraging people to come back to the Catholic Church or to learning about the Church for the first time. The series of ads are set to air from March 7 through Easter Sunday (April 24), with the goal of reaching more than million viewers during that time.

The Diocese of Venice is divided into two media markets, therefore the ads will air on broadcast stations of ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX in Charlotte, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee and Collier counties. For viewers in DeSoto, Charlotte, Manatee and Sarasota counties the ads will air on ABC-7. The ads will also air on cable stations in Highlands, Hardee, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

In addition, Spanish language radio ads will air on WTLQ, Total La Ley and Total Super Q.

Catholics can get involved in the campaign in ways both financial and personal.

In summarizing the motivation for this campaign, Bishop Dewane put it simply: “We are doing this for one reason, to welcome our brothers and sisters in faith back home to the Catholic Church. If they have been away for a little while for any reason, we want to invite them to have another look and give us an opportunity to welcome them back. We miss them, and our faith community isn’t complete without them.”

In conjunction with the Catholics Come Home® initiative in the Diocese, each parish and mission will offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation on the Fridays of Lent from 5-7 p.m.; and again on the Saturdays of Lent from 9-11 a.m.

Also note that the Catholics Come Home® founder Tom Peterson will be speaking at Blessed Pope John XXIII Parish in Fort Myers on March 15 at 7 p.m. All are welcome to attend.
Read entire Diocese of Venice article

WTOC TV in Savannah, Georgia, Reports: "Catholic Church Embraces Technology"

WTOC, Savannah, Georgia

Catholic Church Embraces Technology

Catholic Church Embraces Technology

By Tim Guidera

CCH-Black Vatican Logo (Registered Trademark)SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) – You could describe the Catholic church as historic, unwavering and now, cutting edge.

Through the Catholics Come Home® campaign, the church has embraced television advertising and the internet to bring non-practicing Catholics back into the embrace of the church.

And they’re doing so as a strategy, a vocation and a duty.

“I think it’s wonderful because the church does remind us to use that type of technology,” said Father Jeremiah McCarthy, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Savannah. “I think many of the young people are into that. How else can we reach people?”

“Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict, said recently, we have got to use this liturgy,” added Father Dan Firmin, of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. “We must use all these means to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The campaign will be rolled out in different cities across the country with polished, highly produced ads. But the means matter less than the message.

“I like Catholics Come Home®,” said Bishop J. Kevin Boland of the Catholic Diocese of Savannah. “I like to use that imagery that the father goes out to meet them, runs out to meet the prodigal coming home, puts a cape on his shoulder and says, come on, we’ll have a meal. That enriches all of us.”

And while the hope is that having people return to the religion they were raised in enriches lives, the church and everyone in it share a mutual benefit with every catholic that comes home.

“It nourishes the family,” said Bishop Boland. “You know what happens when there’s resolution, when there’s forgiveness and the prodigal son comes home.”

“We’re lesser when our family members aren’t with us,” added Father Firmin. “We miss them. And so to have them with us around the table of our lord to have them beside us in the pew, makes the life of the church so much fuller, the life of our family so much better.”
Read entire WTOC story and view WTOC news clip

CatholicsComeHome.org featured in The Boston Pilot Newspaper

TheBostonPilotcom

Workshops lay groundwork to help ‘Catholics Come Home®
by: Jim Lockwood

BRAINTREE — The Archdiocese of Boston and its parishes are gearing up for its Catholics Come Home® initiative, an effort to welcome lapsed Catholics back to the Church that will begin this Lent.

CCH white logo (Registered Trademark) edited in picnic for smaller border 052810“On the ground, there are a lot of things going on to support this program,” said Archdiocese of Boston Secretary for Faith Formation and Evangelization Janet Benestad.

Beginning Feb. 22, the archdiocese will be hosting free workshops for pastors, parish staff and Catholics Come Home® parish leaders to suggest ways to welcome those who return to the Church through this initiative.

Workshops will be held Feb. 22 at St. Michael Parish in North Andover, Feb. 23 at Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton and Feb. 24 at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center in Braintree. All sessions run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The presenter will be Tom Curran, of MyCatholicFaith.org, a website featuring Catholic podcasts, blogs, multimedia resources and news. Curran produces a course called “Helping Catholics Come Home,” which is available on the website. The course can be used by parishes to train catechetical leaders as part of the Catholics Come Home® initiative.

The workshops will be videotaped and made available on the archdiocese’s CatholicsComeHomeBoston.org website. Information on Catholics Come Home® will also be available in Spanish and Portuguese.

Benestad said the workshops are geared towards “receiving those who accept the invitation.”

Throughout Lent and ending on Easter Sunday, Catholics Come Home® will be airing commercials on major television networks and cable news outlets. They are expected to air on Boston Channels 4, 5, 7 and 25, as well as FOX News, MSNBC, ESPN and TBS. Spots are also slated to be broadcast during cable coverage of Boston Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox games.

A total of between 2,000 and 3,000 ads are expected to air in segments of 30, 60 and 120-seconds. English, Spanish and Portuguese commercials are expected, though plans for Portuguese spots are still being finalized.

According to Benestad, the ads are expected to reach 92 percent of local television viewers.

She said that while the commercials will do a great deal to invite people back, the program will not be successful unless parishes are ready to receive them.

She is encouraging parish communities to be welcoming at Mass and be willing to assist those who may be unfamiliar with Mass rubrics.

“(The parishes) know through the ads people are going to call, they might show up at a rectory or they might show up at a Mass,” she said.

She said that across the archdiocese, parishes are marking the Catholics Come Home® initiative in unique ways.

“Different parishes are going to approach Catholics Come Home® in a different way,” she said. “In different places, people have come up with a variety of ideas to welcome people back to the Church.”
read entire article

Please keep all of our CCH Diocesan Partners that will be airing Catholics Come Home® initiatives this Lent in your prayers.  Please also remember in prayer all those who will receive this invitation “home” to Christ’s Catholic Church! Learn more about bringing CatholicsComeHome.org TV commercials to your diocese

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National Catholic Bible Conference coming to ATLANTA!

Catholics Come Home is excited to be a sponsor for the 2011 National Catholic Bible Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, July 22-23. Mark your calendars early! The theme of the conference is “The Great Conversation: Encountering God’s Word.” This is a can’t-miss event with fantastic speakers and an opportunity to learn more about the Word of God and how better to share it with others. See the NCBC’s website (http://catholicbibleconference.com/) for a speaker list and more details about the event. Hope to see you there!

Archdiocese of Boston parish says ‘Catholics come home'

enterprisenews_logo BOSTON

‘Catholics come home,’ says St. Albert’s in Weymouth

WEYMOUTH —

The Archdiocese of Boston wants to gather its flock back into the fold. Hearing the call, the parish council at the Church of St. Albert the Great knew what to do.

The. Rev. Paul Soper of the Church of St. Albert the Great in Weymouth and Betsy Clifford, pastoral associate and music director, consider hymn selections for the open house that will be held on March 9, 2011.

The. Rev. Paul Soper of the Church of St. Albert the Great in Weymouth and Betsy Clifford, pastoral associate and music director, consider hymn selections for the open house that will be held on March 9, 2011.

As part of a new national campaign, Catholics Come Home, the church will hold a 24-hour open house March 9, Ash Wednesday.

Ads that are part of the archdiocese-wide campaign will begin airing on Boston television stations March 7, said the Rev. Paul Soper of St. Albert’s.

Every parish in the archdiocese is being asked to plan something for the beginning of Lent to welcome back those who have left the church or feel distant from it. The council at St. Albert’s decided to take a page from its vigil days of the past and be open around the clock with welcoming activities for that one day and night.

In 2004, St. Albert’s parishioners held a 10-month vigil, refusing to leave the church, to protest plans to close it. In 2005, the Archdiocese announced St. Albert’s would remain open.

At the Ash Wednesday open house, two Masses will be held and ashes will be given out all day. A priest will be available to take confession at anytime and lay people will be available throughout to sit down and talk and there will be refreshments in the parish hall.
click to read entire article

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