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.

WICU12 News in Erie, Pennsylvania Reports: "TV Ads Invite People Back to Catholic Church"

The Diocese of Erie is currently partnering with Catholics Come Home® this Lent to air commercials throughout the diocese, extending an invitation for viewers to return “home” to their Catholic faith.  See story below from WICU12 News in Erie:

Erie WICU12

TV Ads Invite People Back to Catholic Church

March 28, 2011
The commercials are all over the television airwaves. They’re part of a major campaign in the Diocese of Erie to invite fallen away Catholics to return to the Church. CLICK FOR VIDEO The diocese believes there are many people who feel the urge to return but need a nudge.

“The commercials are meant to kind of tap into people who are at that place, but not really sure where to go. How to get connected to a community. How to re-establish their contact with Christ in the sacraments. So this is meant to say, “Hey, this is an invitation that hopefully will resonate with where people are in their lives now,” said Fr. Chris Singer, Chancellor, Diocese of Erie.

The television commercials were financed by a special collection taken at all the churches of the diocese. That collection raised over $100,000.

“Pastors asked their people to support this effort. They explained what it was, explained the costs that would be involved in running these commercial spots. And people responded incredibly generously. It really was amazing,” Singer said.

The commercials are getting a positive response. Pastors are receiving calls from people who want to come back.  Parishes have developed programs for the returning members. Some of the programs are designed to deal with the conflicts that drove the parishioners away in the first place.

“The commercials are just the beginning. The real work actually happens in the parishes,” Singer said.

The ad campaign began less than a month ago, on Ash Wednesday. The Church hopes to see many people returned to the flock when the campaign ends on Easter Sunday.
read entire story at WICU12 News website

9 Diocesan Campaigns Launch Today!

Catholics Come Home

As we enter into the season of Lent today, nine Catholics Come Home® diocesan partner campaigns are launching.  We ask you to please offer your prayers and fasting today for the intentions of the many souls who will receive an invitation to come “home” to their Catholic faith this Lent through the Catholics Come Home® commercials airing for the next seven weeks in the following partner dioceses:

  • Archdiocese of Boston
  • Diocese of Manchester, NH
  • Archdiocese of New Orleans
  • Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux
  • Diocese of Baton Rouge
  • Diocese of Lafayette
  • Diocese of Erie
  • Diocese of Winona
  • Diocese of Venice, FL

Did You Miss EWTN’s The Journey Home This Past Monday Featuring Catholics Come Home®?
Good News – the show is now available to view on YouTube.  See link below:


The Journey Home with Marcus Grodi
Featuring Tom Peterson
Catholics Come Home® Founder and President
Click here to view YouTube episode

Thank you for your prayers and support which keep these messages of invitation airing in the mainstream media!  We Are Catholic. Welcome Home.

Sincerely,

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.  EncouragePriests.org™ is a special communications outreach project of Catholics Come Home, Inc.