FOX Charlotte Reports about the Catholics Come Home® Initiative:
Effort To Bring Catholics Back To Church
By Marvin Beach
December 30, 2010
CHARLOTTE, NC – You may have noticed ads like this airing across the Charlotte area.
“Catholics Come Home
®” is part of an ongoing national campaign that’s currently focusing on our area. “The whole idea of the commercials is to invite those Catholics who may have not been practicing their faith for awhile to come back,” says Father John Putnam.
Putnam is leading the effort in the Charlotte area.
He says only a third of US Catholics attend mass on a weekly basis.
That’s a big concern for church leaders. Steeped in tradition, the church has dealt with several scandals in recent years. Overall though, local church attendance is still going up. That number has kept rising because of the increasing population in Charlotte and across Western North Carolina.
In the year 2000, around 73,000 people attended mass weekly in Western North Carolina, including Charlotte. 78,000 in 2005, a slight dip from the year before. And around 93,000 in 2010.
Leaders say that number could be even higher. They hope those who’ve left will give the church another look.
“Our main goal is just to get folks to come by renew their commitment to the church, see what the church is about, and renew their relationship with God, who loves them and wants the best for them,” Putnam says.
And they’re doing it through one of the most powerful ways to reach people who’ve drifted away.