Archdiocese of Denver: Welcoming Catholics Back "Home"

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Welcoming Catholics back ‘home’

By James Cavanagh

CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec: Television ads for “Catholics Come Home” urge the faithful to be welcoming to new people they notice at Mass and to invite fallen-away Catholics back to the Eucharist. Pictured are people attending Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.

CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec:
Television ads for “Catholics Come Home” urge the faithful to be welcoming to new people they notice at Mass and to invite fallen-away Catholics back to the Eucharist. Pictured are people attending Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.

“While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.”—Lk 15:20

Evangelization isn’t just one task among many, it is the very reason the Church exists. Everything we do—building projects, religious education, sacramental preparation, finance and stewardship, music and liturgy, everything—has as its end the proclamation of the kingdom of God and the redemption of all people.

This was the clear message of Vatican II, a message that was embraced by Pope Paul VI and taken up by his successors. “The task of evangelizing all people,” Paul VI said, “constitutes the essential mission of the Church. Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity” (“Evangelii Nuntiandi,” 14).

An unprecedented opportunity for evangelization is coming this Christmas. From Dec. 17 through Jan. 9 “Catholics Come Home” will launch a nationwide television ad campaign aimed at those who have been away from the Church as well as those who might be interested in joining the Catholic Church.

Our participation is vital if this effort is to be fruitful. All of us have a part to play: clergy, staff and parishioners. Vatican II taught that the laity has a unique role in the life and mission of the Church—a role that no one else can play.  Baptized into Christ and nourished by his body and blood, the laity are sent forth to share the Gospel with others. “All Christians,” the Council Fathers taught, have “the preeminent responsibility of working to make the divine message of salvation known and accepted by all men throughout the world” (Decree on the Laity, 3)

Many Catholics, perhaps you’re one of them, aren’t inclined to evangelize and even if they were, don’t feel equipped. They just can’t see themselves knocking on doors or preaching on street corners. Few of us are called to that kind of evangelization. But all of us are called, in the words of one of the new dismissals to “glorify the Lord by your life.”

The beauty of “Catholics Come Home” is that you don’t have to be an expert in all things Catholic. You don’t even have to be particularly outgoing. All you have to do is visit their website, invite others to Mass when the opportunity presents itself and welcome those who come. But how, you may ask, will I know who’s visiting as a result of the ad campaign and who is simply another parishioner I don’t know?  The answer is simple: Be friendly to everyone.

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Letting God Rule

A recent message by the Holy Father included the following reflection:

Reflecting on the day’s reading from the prophet Isaiah, the Holy Father called special attention to the words: ‘There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hands of iniquity.’ Pope Benedict said:PopeBenedictXVI_3

How can we not be struck by this description? It seems to reflect certain aspects of the post-modern world: cities where life has become anonymous and horizontal, where God seems to be absent and only man is master, as if he were the universal architect. Building, work, economy, transport, science, technology, everything seems to depend only upon man. And at times, in this apparently perfect world, terrible things happen, either in nature or society, which make us think that God has withdrawn and has, so to say, left us to our own devices….”

Read more of CatholicCulture’s article by clicking the link above.

CCH Featured Apologetics Question: Why don’t Catholic priests marry?

Screen shot 2011-11-14 at 9.22.19 AMFind out the answer here! Click on the “Answer” button to this question on the Priesthood page of our CatholicsComeHome.org website.

Here are some great articles that also deal with priestly celibacy:

Priestly Celibacy

Celibacy of Clergy

Feel free to check out the other questions and answers about the priesthood on the page. And don’t forget to stop by our sister website, EncouragePriests.org!

Catholic News Agency (CNA) Reports: Catholics Come Home National Campaign

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Catholics Come Home announces ad campaign on major networks

Atlanta, Ga., Nov 3, 2011 / 03:31 am (CNA).- Catholics Come Home has announced a major prime time evangelization initiative set to air on American TV networks beginning in mid-Advent and ending after Christmas.

The initiative’s advertising campaign aims to reach 250 million television viewers in over 10,000 U.S. cities and in every U.S. diocese.

“These inspiring messages are sponsored by 30,000 Catholic families who want to invite neighbors, relatives, and co-workers to the largest family reunion in modern history,” said Catholics Come Home founder Tom Peterson.

The ad used in the campaign notes the beauty and history of the Catholic Church. It mentions Catholics’ traditions of prayer, help for the poor, and work in education.

“Guided by the Holy Spirit, we compiled the Bible,” it says, stating that the Church was “started by Jesus.”

“If you’ve been away, come home to your parish, and visit CatholicsComeHome.org today,” the ad says.

Catholics Come Home says the ad is scheduled to air over 400 times from Dec. 16 through Jan. 8.

Read entire article at: Catholic News Agency

Breaking Catholic News. First time in history.

Catholics Come Home
FIRST TIME EVER…
CATHOLIC EVANGELIZATION ADS
ON NATIONAL, PRIME-TIME NETWORK TELEVISION!
CATHOLICS COME HOME
®COMMERCIALS AIRING NATIONWIDE 

Atlanta (Roswell), GA, November 2, 2011—Catholics Come Home® announces a major, national, prime-time network television evangelization initiative, for the first time ever in the 2,000 year history of the Catholic Church, to air from December 16, 2011 through January 8, 2012.

This invitation of the New Evangelization highlights the history, beauty, spirituality and accomplishments of the Catholic Church.  The positive message will reach 250 million television viewers in over 10,000 U.S. cities and every diocese throughout the United States, airing over 400 times during the three week period spanning before Christmas through the Feast of the Epiphany, January 8, 2012.

Catholics Come Home® hopes to inspire as many as one million souls to come home to local parishes.  This evangelization goal is based on statistical census results from Catholics Come Home® media initiatives that have aired in 30 past partner dioceses, ranging from Chicago to Seattle and Boston to Atlanta.   Where these ads have aired, Mass attendance has increased an average of 10%, and helped over 300,000 people home to the Church, just since 2008.

The bi-lingual Catholics Come Home® commercials are scheduled to air on CBS, NBC, Univision, TBS, USA, TNT, CNN, FoxNews, and other networks during shows like 60 Minutes, NCIS, Kennedy Center Honors, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, Jay Leno, O’Reilly, major sports, and highly rated sitcoms.  Viewers will be directed to their parish and will learn more at CatholicsComeHome.org or CatolicosRegresen.org (Spanish).

According to a recent CARA Catholic Poll (CCP), only 33% of U.S. Catholics attend weekly Mass.  That means 42.7 million, or two-thirds of U.S. Catholics, are not going to Mass. The number of Americans identifying themselves as non-religious/secular increased 110% from 1990 to 2000, now 13.2% of the total population.  The average American spends 38 hours per week consuming media, with TV and internet being the top two choices.  Mormons, Christian Scientists, and Atheists are now advertising.

“These inspiring messages are sponsored by 30,000 Catholic families who want to invite neighbors, relatives, and co-workers to the largest family reunion in modern history” said Founder, Tom Peterson.

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Click here to view the national ad.

To schedule an interview with Tom Peterson, President and Founder of Catholics Come Home®, please contact Yvonne Marchese, Executive Director, 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.