Touched by CCH Commercials!

“I was at work one day last week, and a colleague who knows that I am Catholic stopped by to talk. He said he had heard the Catholics Come Home commercial on TV. I was so excited to know that someone I knew was touched by those commercials.

“If we can bring one person back to the Church, then it will have been worthwhile. I am very proud to be a Catholic, and to know that my Church is working hard to bring those that have left the Church back home. I will continue to encourage him to seek answers to his questions at his parish through Catholics Come Home.”

-Mary from Georgia

‘Catholics Come Home’ commercials spur Cooney’s interest in Catholicism

Check out this article from Green Bay’s The Compass.

“I’m learning what it’s like to be part of a church community for the first time,” he [Casey] added. “For me, it was always kind of a Sunday thing where you just kind of go and after church ends, you filter out.”

"Catholics Come Home" Commercials Spur Green Bay Man to Enter the Church This Easter!

The Compass Newspaper of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin reports the story of  a young man’s journey into the Catholic Church this Easter that began when he saw a Catholics Come Home® Commercial:

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‘Catholics Come Home®’ commercials spur Cooney’s interest in Catholicism
Written by Jeff Kurowski | The Compass

HOWARD — The Easter Vigil will mark the culmination of one path of discovery and the beginning of another for Casey Cooney. The Bay Port High School senior will make a full profession of faith and receive confirmation and first Eucharist on April 23 at St. John the Baptist Church. He was baptized last year. Karla Thielmann, his aunt, is serving as his sponsor.

Last summer, Cooney, 18, decided it was time to take his faith seriously. He had grown up in a household without religion, but, at his request, attended Mass at times as a child. His mother took him to St. John the Baptist, which he describes as “my first experience with God.” Cooney, who also spent time as a teen at various Protestant and nondenominational churches, said he entered the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) after re-examining his faith life.

“I knew that I had to decide where I was in my communion with God,” he said. “I knew that I wanted to come back to the church, but I was initially dismayed because there are 3,000 different denominations of Christianity, some of which with mutually exclusive theology. They all say that they are the last remnant of Israel. Who do I believe?”

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Casey Cooney (Rick Evans | For The Compass)

Around this time of personal faith exploration, television commercials for Catholics Come Home® aired locally. Cooney said that he was inspired by the media spot that highlighted Jesus calling Peter “the rock” and saying, “Upon this rock I will build my church.”

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“After that, I started to investigate the church,” he said. “Everything just made sense to me and I knew that’s where I belong.”

Cooney has embraced learning opportunities throughout the RCIA process. He has researched the history of the church and read about theologians, including Sts. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. Much of the learning is not found in texts though, he said.

“It’s one thing to have that knowledge, but it’s much more important how you live your faith,” he said. “I always try to keep that in mind. The people on the RCIA team have been practicing their faith longer than I’ve been alive, so there are a lot of things they can teach me about what it means to live the Catholic life.

“I’m learning what it’s like to be part of a church community for the first time,” he added. “For me, it was always kind of a Sunday thing where you just kind of go and after church ends, you filter out.”

Cooney has developed an appreciation for the Catholic Mass. He recalls what he describes as “musical productions” at some of the nondenominational churches he attended.

“When I come to the Catholic Mass, the music is more restrained and I like it better,” he said. “The Mass is more solemn and quiet, and reverent, and respectful. In one of Paul’s Epistles he talked about propriety in worship in that God is the God of order and not chaos. I’m not saying that those other churches are chaotic, but I appreciate the order in the Catholic Church. I find it comforting.”

Read the entire article from The Compass

Please pray for all those coming into full communion with The Church this Easter, and for those who have received the Catholics Come Home® invitation who are considering returning to Mass.

“Stretching the Stewardship Way of Life”

Check out this article by Fr. Dave Zimmer commenting on the anti-Catholic segment involving Catholics Come Home commercials on Bill Maher’s show a few weeks ago.

“The Lord turned my thoughts to that day when Jesus walked through the streets of Jerusalem, being mocked, laughed at, spit upon and even cursed. As I looked up at our crucifix into the face of Jesus looking down upon me, the only thought I had was His words, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” As His words became mine, the “stretching” of my faith was occurring, a common dynamic of practicing stewardship…”

SUDDEN SURGE IN NEW ENGLAND MASS ATTENDANCE

Catholics Come Home
SUDDEN SURGE IN NEW ENGLAND
MASS ATTENDANCE
CATHOLICS COME HOME
® FILLING PEWS FOR EASTER

(April 12, 2011) Atlanta, GA—The parish pews of New England Catholic churches are noticeably fuller these days.  This Lent, the Archdiocese of Boston, the Diocese of Manchester and seven other dioceses across the nation have partnered with the lay organization Catholics Come Home®, to air the multimedia (TV and Internet) evangelization initiative inviting Catholics back to church – and it’s working!

Portraying the spirituality and history of the Catholic Church, the television messages reach out to inactive Catholics and others; encouraging their return to the Church.  The commercials direct the viewer to the www.CatholicsComeHome.org and www.CatolicosRegresen.org websites to explore answers to questions of faith and to utilize the site’s parish-finder feature to locate their local parish community and Mass times.  Television campaigns often feature ads in multiple languages including English, Spanish, Portuguese and Polish in the most popular programming like news, sports and Prime Time.

Catholics Come Home® commercials began airing on mainstream broadcast and cable television on Ash Wednesday in the Lenten partner archdioceses of Boston and New Orleans, and dioceses of Manchester, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Houma-Thibodaux, Erie, Winona and Venice, FL.  The ads continue through Easter Sunday.  “This Lent, we’ve made an outreach to inactive Catholics…launching several television commercials to invite our brothers and sisters home,” said Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley.  “It’s for Catholics, who for whatever reason have stopped coming to church.”

Jackie Rolon, a Boston Catholic who recently returned to the faith after seeing a CatholicsComeHome.org TV commercial, beamed with delight in a video interview with the Boston Herald.  “I have come back to the Church a month today.  The joy I feel is beyond words,” said Rolon while hugging a photo of her deceased father and a rosary closely to herself.   The Boston Herald‘s recent story “Religious Campaign Goes Beyond TV Ads,” brings light to the welcoming spirit of New England parishes.  The Rev. Francisco Anzoategui, believes as many as 20 people have come back to St. Stephen’s.  “You’ll be amazed how many people return because they are just waiting for an invitation to come back. It’s happening,” he said.  At St. Patrick’s in Stoneham, the Rev. Bill Schmidt held a three-night Lenten mission last month for current and lapsed Catholics. About 60 people attended a Q&A night to learn about the faith. Another 50 came to a session on annulments. Parishioners are encouraged to bring friends and family. “We are putting a big push on people to invite somebody to go back,” he said. “It’s always easier to come back with someone.”

In the Diocese of Manchester, The Citizen of Laconia paper reports, “A Welcome Home: Catholic Church Opens Arms To Prodigal Faithful“.  Area parishes such as St. André Bessette of Laconia, will have large, purple banners above their doors, welcoming people to come within. The Rev. Marc Drouin, pastor of St. Andre Bessette, said, “Even if one person returns home, it’s worth everything to prepare to receive them,” said Drouin. “Just this past week, I spoke with two people who were away for at least 30 years and both of them had seen the commercials on TV and decided to reconnect. It was a delight to meet them and to welcome them back.”

Previous Catholics Come Home® initiatives have already aired in more than 20 dioceses from Chicago to Phoenix, Sacramento to Providence and Atlanta to Corpus Christi.  These ads will have reached 40 million viewers by Easter.  Where these ads have aired, Mass attendance has increased an average of 10%, and as much as 18%.  According to census statistics published by participating dioceses, Catholics Come Home® ads have helped more than 200,000 fallen away Catholics come home to the Church.

This Holy Thursday also marks the one year anniversary of the EncouragePriests.org website launch, a communications outreach project of Catholics Come Home®.  The EncouragePriests.org website is designed for the laity to send messages of support to the holy and heroic priests of Christ’s Catholic Church.  EncouragePriests.org includes free e-card Collar-Hollers, spiritual bouquets, and a place to post encouragement videos.

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To receive a copy of the commercials or hi res print images for media broadcast or to schedule an interview with Tom Peterson of Catholics Come Home®, please contact: Yvonne Marchese at 678-585-7886 x101, or by e-mail to yvonne@catholicscomehome.org

CatholicsComeHome.org is a 501(c)(3) non-profit media apostolate, dedicated to producing and airing Catholic evangelism television ads on local, national and international television networks.  EncouragePriests.org™ is a special communications outreach project of Catholics Come Home, Inc.

Recalling your Baptism during Lent

“When we let our life be illuminated by the mystery of Christ, we experience the joy of being liberated from all that threatens its full fulfillment.” -Pope Benedict XVI, April 3 Sunday Angelus

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Read more about the power of Baptism against sin and temptation according to our Holy Father in this article from Catholic News Agency.