Young Adults Return to Church

Catholics Come Home
Your prayers and support for Catholics Come Home® continue to touch souls and spread the Good News around the U.S. and throughout the world!  Here is some exciting news about two young adults that I recently met in Houston.

Daniel’s Journey Home
“I came from an Evangelical Protestant background. In the summer after my junior year in college, I was already feeling the tug toward the Catholic Church. Through many conversations and hours of reading, I found myself drawn more closely to the Catholic Church. In the summer of 2008, some Catholics shared with me your commercial, Epic. I also read Scott Hahn’s book, Rome Sweet Home, and thought over the doctrines that divide Catholics and Protestants today. August 2008, I resolved to be received into the Catholic Church.  Many other friends and your commercial helped me come into the Church.”

Brenda’s Return to the Catholic Church
“I ended up going through two marriages, two relationships, and many jobs…I forgot all about God. I desperately was searching in the wrong places to feel ‘at home’.  I felt in my heart that I needed to give the Catholic Church another try, but I kept fighting it. On Pentecost 2011, I asked in prayer for Jesus to help me. My friend Karla invited me to attend Mass that afternoon, and I did. I went home, and later saw a TV commercial for CatholicsComeHome.org and I went on the website. I then decided to let God lead me, and signed up for RCIA.  I am finally Home, and wouldn’t go anywhere else.”


Your generosity continues to evangelize and change lives (of all ages)!  We are blessed by any support from your heart, to help love more souls to Heaven.

 With the tough economy we need your help more than ever.

Tom PetersonYour brother in Christ,

Tom Peterson and your CatholicsComeHome.org team

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.  Catholics Come Home® is guided by a 26 person Advisory Board, including Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Bishop Michael Sheridan, Bishop Jaime Soto, Bishop James Conley, and other highly respected theologians and Catholic business executives.

Evangomercial and Catolicos Regresen are trademarks of Catholics Come Home, Inc. Catholics Come Home® is a Federally Registered Trademark of Catholics Come Home, Inc.

The "St. Louis Review" Reports: Catholics Come Home® evangelization campaign brings people back to Church

The St. Louis Review July 25 issue highlights the positive impact of the recent Archdiocese of St. Louis Catholics Come Home® evangelization initiative.  Read the excerpt below, including two testimonials of returnees and converts to the faith:

Catholics Come Home® evangelization campaign brings people back to Church

July 25, 2012 | Barbara Watkins | bwatkins@archstl.org

The altar at St. Joseph Parish in Farmington.

Madge Winch came home this year.  Prompted by the Catholics Come Home® television commercials that aired throughout the Archdiocese of St. Louis this winter, Winch returned to the Catholic Church through St. Joseph Parish in Farmington.

“I really came home, and I just love it,” said Winch, who had been born and raised Catholic but left the Church before she was confirmed. “I returned because I saw those ads. It was like the ads were talking to me.”

Winch is being joined by her husband, Allen Winch, a non-Catholic who is entering the Church. Winch said their three children were raised in the Church, but she herself stayed away from the sacraments for 33 years. When she took her children to church, “I always had to sit back in my seat and not receive communion. … Now every time I do receive communion, I come back to the pew and tears just flow, I feel so good.” She added, “It’s like a burden has been lifted off me.”

The Winches are going through the Rite of Christian Initiation at St. Joseph in Farmington, along with more than 30 other people joining or returning to the Church.

Father Rickey Valleroy, pastor of St. Joseph Parish, called Catholics Come Home® “a wonderful campaign.” He said, “It touched people’s hearts, and it spoke of the true Church to come home to. It’s been very successful for our parish.”

Catholics Come Home® was an archdiocesan-wide evangelization effort that involved more than 2,600 commercials, in English and Spanish, that aired between Dec. 16 and Jan. 22. For the campaign, the Archdiocese of St. Louis partnered with Catholics Come Home Inc., a Georgia-based nonprofit lay Catholic organization that uses a mass media outreach to evangelize fallen-away Catholics and others with an interest in learning more about the Catholic faith.

Funding for Catholics Come Home® St. Louis came from several sources, including a second collection in parishes one weekend in October.

“For us it worked wonderfully,” said Father Valleroy.

Also returning to the Church through St. Joseph in Farmington is Shirley Hill, who was raised a Catholic in St. Joseph Parish and attended elementary and high school there. She and her husband, Tom Hill, were married in the Church, but “as time went by, we got kind of lax (about going to Mass) and it became easier and easier” to stay away.

Shirley Hill saw the Catholics Come Home® ads and “they caught my eye. I thought they were informative and encouraging to bring me back.” Although a little hesitant at first to return to the Church, “I didn’t need to worry. It’s been great.”

Tom Hill is joining the Church and is in the parish RCIA program. Shirley Hill added that recent attacks on the Church “politically and otherwise” also prompted their decision. “If we want to fix our country, we have to fix ourselves first. If we’re not participating and talking to God through Mass and the sacraments, we are lax in our beliefs.”

Father Valleroy said he had a dozen people contact him as a result of the Catholics Come Home® commercials. “The parish hosted a dinner for them (and their spouses) … and I matched each person who came to the dinner with a very active parishioner who helped get involved in the life of the parish. … I think 100 percent of the people we invited from Catholics Come Home® worked at our parish picnic this June because they already felt a part of the parish.”

Father Jack Siefert of St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Brentwood also reported positive results from Catholic Come Home®. “We have seen an increase in Mass attendance at church. That’s not just me saying that. Parishioners have told me they’ve seen a pretty good increase in Mass attendance. And there has been a significant increase in loose collections, that is up considerably.

“I know that Catholics Come Home® is not about money, but that increase is an indicator,” Father Siefert said. “We have seen an increase in Mass attendance and in stewardship numbers.”

Click here to read the entire St. Louis Review article

Visit the Catholics Come Home® “where we’ve been” page to see a sampling of the 33+ CCH diocesan partners to date, and highlights from their campaigns.

"The Catholic Beat" Announces Archdiocese of Cincinnati To Air Catholics Come Home® Commercials

See the excerpt below from “The Catholic Beat,” July 24 feature story, announcing the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s “A.C.E project”, which includes airing Catholics Come Home® commercials this Advent:

Archdiocese Introduces the A.C.E. Project


A still from Catholics Come Home’s most famous commercial, “Epic.” Used with permission.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati announces a new initiative for all its 200+ parishes: The A.C.E. (“Advent, Christmas and Easter”) Project. Designed to bring Catholics back to the Church on more than those three occasions, the A.C.E. Project will bring two programs used successfully throughout the country to the Archdiocese.

A joint program of the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis and the Office of Stewardship, the program is a “direct response to the call for New Evangelization in the Year of Faith called by to Pope Benedict XVI beginning in October,” say the organizers.

The first program, Catholics Come Home®, allows parishes and dioceses to create advertising campaigns inviting Catholics who have left the church to “come home.” It includes a website, professionally create commercials and advertisements, and other resources geared toward fallen-away Catholics and people who are interested in joining the Church.

“Jesus wants to invite you back into His big, warm and loving Catholic family in the Church He founded 2,000 years ago,” The Catholics Come Home® web site says to first-time readers.”He’s calling you home, but the choice is yours… We are family. We’ve missed you. Welcome home!”

click here to read entire article

Want to bring a Catholics Come Home® evangelization initiative to your diocese?  Click here to learn more.

Tom Peterson Inspires Young Adults at Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston's "Cafe' Catholica"

Catholics Come Home® Founder and President, Tom Peterson, traveled to the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston this week to speak to over 600 young adults attending a vibrant summer series called “Cafe’ Catholica.”   Peterson’s talk, entitled, “ChristVille (Calling Catholics Home, Calling Catholic Heroes)” encouraged attendees to confidently live out the unique and specific “mission” to which Christ is calling him/her.  “By living out Christ’s calling for your life, you become a Catholic hero in a time when our world desperately needs Catholic heroes to lead the way.”  Peterson shared his personal testimony of how God called him to “downsize and simplify” his life from his secular media career which had lead him down the road of materialism.  Once Peterson responded in obedience, God called him to a great adventure using his background and experience in media to evangelize the culture through founding CatholicsComeHome.org and VirtueMedia.org not-for-profit media apostolates.

A young adult gentleman in attendance, Daniel, shared at the event that the Catholics Come Home® “Epic” commercial played a part in his faith journey, ultimately which lead to his converting from his Evangelical Protestant background to becoming Catholic.

Welcome Home, Daniel!

New Movie Depicts Life of Saint Augustine, Famous for "Coming Home" to Catholicism

A new movie, “Restless Heart: The Confessions of Augustine,” is coming Fall 2012.  Saint Augustine, famous for “coming home” to Catholicism, continues to inspire hope in many today who have loved ones away from the faith.

St. Augustine of Hippo is one of the Christian world’s most beloved and well-known saints.  However, his amazing conversion and heroic life have not been told on the big screen…until now.  According to the movie’s website (www.RestlessHeartFilm.com), “in this stirring and epic new film of the life of St. Augustine of Hippo, follow the great saint as he rises from his reckless days as a youth to his accomplishments as renowned but dissolute orator.  Though worldly success and riches come his way…satisfaction and peace elude him.  It takes a confrontation with Christian bishop Ambrose and the countless prayers offered by his patient mother, Monica, to break through his intellectual pride.”

Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago offers his reflection about the movie: “Many generations of Catholics have turned to the Confessions of Saint Augustine for encouragement and sustenance in living as disciples of the Lord.  Restless Heart invites even more people to discover the power of this spiritual classic. This film brings the words of the Confessions to life by enabling us to more fully understand the relationships and the culture that shaped Augustine, and to better grasp his talents and ambitions, sins and struggles and, ultimately, his sanctity.  Restless Heart draws us to appreciate the magnitude and the totality of Augustine’s conversion of mind and heart. It invites us to consider how the Lord, whose merciful love is active in every time and place, is drawing us to give our own minds and hearts more completely to Him.”

Check-out the movie trailer and theater information.

To view inspirational modern day “coming home” stories, visit the CatholicsComeHome.org Real People. Real Stories video testimonials page.

TRUE FREEDOM: On Protecting Human Dignity and Religious Liberty

Cardinal Dolan writes new eBook on Religious Freedom!

True Freedom: On Protecting Human Dignity and Religious LibertyTimothy Cardinal Dolan of New York, President of the USCCB, has written True Freedom: On Protecting Human Dignity and Religious Liberty. Random House is publishing the eBook, which is available for electronic download now for only 99 cents!

In the book, Cardinal Dolan explains the need for all Americans to embrace a new culture rooted in what Blessed John Paul II called the Gospel of Life – where the sacredness of all human life and the freedoms that are their birthright, are upheld, respected and protected by law.

FORTNIGHT FOR FREEDOM BEGINS:

The Unitefortnight-for-freedom-montaged States Conference of Catholic Bishops has dedicated the fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, to a “fortnight for freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country have scheduled special events that support a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.

Please join with our CatholicsComeHome.org team in praying for our beloved country.

POPE BENEDICT XVI and CATHOLICS COME HOME® ARRIVE IN MEXICO

Atlanta (Roswell), GA, March 22, 2012—Pope Benedict XVI travels to Mexico and Cuba, from March 23-28, a trip based on the Pope’s conviction that “this is a precious time to evangelize” in Latin America and the Caribbean. In his homily during the December Mass which honored Our Lady of Guadalupe and celebrated Latin American and Caribbean independence, the Pope called for the New Evangelization to reach these countries and beyond.

Catholics Come Home® and its Spanish language television evangomercialshave also just arrived in Mexico, answering the Holy Father’s call for the New Evangelization. Catholic evangelization messages are appearing on TV screens in Mexico, inviting viewers to “come home” to the Catholic Church and to visit the CatolicosRegresen.org website to learn more.   This month alone, CatolicosRegresen.org has been airing various commercials from their Spanish language portfolio, about one hundred times in Mexico, and more airings are planned for the near future.

The Catholic evangelization commercials direct viewers to the CatolicosRegresen.org website, which features a welcoming message from Eduardo Verástegui, a popular Mexican actor, producer, and star of the movie Bella.  Verástegui shares his personal testimony (English / Spanish) of his journey back to his Catholic faith, after many years outside the Church pursuing a life of  “fame and material success”. The website CatolicosRegresen.org provides catechetical information and a parish finder for those in Mexico, the United States, and elsewhere.

Univision’s popular television program Primer Impacto (March 22, 2012 – 5:30 to 6:00 pm EST) features Verástegui sharing his insights on the upcoming Papal visit to Mexico and his role in helping Catholics Come Home® to spread the messages of CatolicosRegresen.org and the New Evangelization in his native country of Mexico.  Now a resident of Los Angeles, Verástegui shares his conversion story in English on the Catholics Come Home® website as well.

During the recent Christmas season, most Americans witnessed a first in television and Church history: the national, prime-time network debut of empowering bilingual Catholic
evangelization messages in English and Spanish, from Catholics Come Home®.  Spots feature the history, spirituality, and accomplishments of the Catholic Church.

These inspiring evangomercials were broadcast 546 times from December 12, 2011 to January 13, 2012, reaching viewers across the entire United States and airing in every diocese, on popular television networks including NBC, CBS, Univision, and numerous national cable networks.  Many ads aired in prime-time.  Nielsen data indicates that as many as 125 million viewers in the United States were exposed to the ads, an average of 9.7 times each.  Catholics Come Home® has also launched successful evangelization initiatives in 33 US dioceses and archdioceses, from Seattle to Chicago and Boston to Phoenix, helping to increase Mass attendance in many dioceses an average of 10%.  In dioceses with high Hispanic populations (Sacramento, Phoenix, Corpus Christi, etc.), Mass attendance has increased as much as 17.7% following the airing of Catholics Come Home® bilingual campaigns.

Catholics Come Home® continues to work in partnership with various dioceses to air local TV evangelization media campaigns during the seasons of Advent and Lent.  Future plans for the apostolate include developing and airing new commercials in the U.S., Mexico, Canada and internationally.

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To receive a copy of the ad for media broadcast or 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.orgFor interviews in Spanish, contact Veronica Esquivia-Lee, at 678-585-7886 x104, or by e-mail, veronica@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.  Catholics Come Home® is guided by a 26 person Advisory Board, including Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Bishop James Conley, Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Bishop Michael Sheridan, Bishop Jaime Soto, and other highly respected theologians and Catholic business executives.

Evangomercial and Catolicos Regresen are trademarks of Catholics Come Home, Inc. Catholics Come Home® is a Federally Registered Trademark of Catholics Come Home, Inc.

CATHOLIC TV ADS REACHED MORE VIEWERS THAN SUPER BOWL

CATHOLICS COME HOME® ADS REACHED MILLIONS MORE TV VIEWERS
THAN SUPER BOWL

Atlanta (Roswell), GA, February 9, 2012—During the recent Christmas season, most Americans witnessed a first in television and Church history: the national, prime-time network debut of empowering Catholic evangelization messages, from Catholics Come Home®.

These inspiring evangomercials™ were broadcast 546 times from December 12, 2011 to January 13, 2012, reaching viewers across the entire United States and airing in every diocese.  Nielsen data indicates that as many as 125 million Americans were exposed to the ads an average of 9.7 times.  The cost to reach 125 million souls ten times…just 2¾ cents per person.  In comparison, the Super Bowl reached only 111.3 million viewers just one time.

The most popular networks of CBS, NBC, Univision, TBS, USA, TNT, CNN and many other top cable networks broadcast the Catholics’ welcoming invitation on their most popular programs. The NBC Nightly News, 60 Minutes, Law and Order, The Today Show, Letterman, The O’Reilly Factor, Kennedy Center Honors, NCIS, all major college football bowl games on Dish Network, and other top shows carried the 30 and 60 second Catholic messages.  “TV is still king of the media world,” said Mark Gray of CARA.

Filled with the history, beauty, spirituality and accomplishments of the Catholic Church, this initiative of the New Evangelization evokes common responses from three main groups of viewers:

  • Current Catholics say:  “When I saw the ads, I felt proud to be Catholic!” 
  • Inactive Catholics say:  “I feel like God was personally inviting me back
    to church.”
  • Non-Catholics say:  “I didn’t know that about the Catholic faith.  I want to know more.”

“The Catholics Come Home campaign has been very successful.  I believe that it is one of the most powerful evangelization moments that we have had in several decades, shared Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond, Archdiocese of New Orleans.

The national Catholics Come Home campaign is a great example of using modern media to serve the New Evangelization; both to reach out to those inactive in their faith, and to animate active Catholics to share their faith.  The beauty of the images and the compelling narrative of the commercials remind fallen away Catholics of God’s immense love for them and of their home in the Catholic Church,” said Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Diocese of Phoenix.

When parishes ask returnees, “why did you come home?,” the overwhelming answer has consistently been, “because you invited me”.  With the support of many individual donors, Catholics Come Home is taking the initiative to invite these “missing” family members back home.  “When we invite them home, the Holy Spirit opens the door,” said Catholics Come Home® president and founder, Tom Peterson.

These beautifully done invitations to return to the practice of the Catholic faith are outstanding examples of the New Evangelization.  Thanks for helping us bishops and priests to reach out to so many of our brothers and sisters in the faith,” commented Bishop Michael Sheridan, Diocese of Colorado Springs.

Catholics Come Home® has launched successful evangelization initiatives in 33 US dioceses and archdioceses helping to increase Mass attendance, often significantly.  Catholics Come Home® continues to work in partnership with dioceses airing local TV evangelization media campaigns during the seasons of Advent/Christmas and Lent.  Future plans for the apostolate include developing and airing new commercials.

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To receive a copy of the ad for media broadcast or 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.  Catholics Come Home® is guided by a 26 person
Advisory Board, including Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Bishop James Conley, Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Bishop Michael Sheridan, Bishop Jaime Soto, and other highly respected theologians and Catholic business executives.

Evangomercial is a trademark of Catholics Come Home, Inc.

Amazing Testimonial – Protestant Loves Our Ads

 Protestant loves Catholics Come Home® Commercials
I am praying for your success at bringing inactive Catholics Home to your Church.  I am a Protestant.  …anything that promotes Christianity is a good thing to support.  The influence of the Catholic Church on the millions of Catholics in the United States is important.  I am a friend, and I support freedom of religion, and I am an opponent of “Freedom From Religion” being shoved down our throats, which is exactly what the agnostics and atheists are doing.  I respect you all, and wish all of you the best God has to offer us all, his love and protection. Thank you for all that you do.”
-Mr. D. Johnson, Methodist, Veteran, Historian

Amazing Testimonial – Agnostic Teen Returns to Mass

Polish Language Catholics Come Home Ads Bring Chicago Teen Home to Church
“I’m 17 and I was always a Catholic but I started moving further away from the faith throughout the last year and a half. The commercial could not have come at a better time. I was slowly headed for agnosticism, but when I saw the commercial, I couldn’t help feel a small burst of happiness, and I do every time I see it.  It has been a great benefit to my faith and many others.  In my ancestral homeland of Poland, many people saw the Polish language commercial and received it very positively, again at a very good time, given the fact that the Church was sadly headed for decline in Poland as it already had throughout much of Europe. I’m hoping the Catholics Come Home movement will continue to make efforts in the U.S., Latin America, and in many of the secular, traditionally Catholic countries of Europe such as France.” –Richie