Catholics Come Home® initiative kicks off on Ash Wednesday
Advertising campaign to include commercials on local TV stations until Easter
“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.
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