"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.

The Diocese of Green Bay Releases CCH findings!

The Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin announces their findings of a 7.4% increase in Mass attendance following their Lent 2010 CatholicsComeHome.org evangelization initiative.  Read the article excerpt below from The Compass, the Official Newspaper for the Diocese of Green Bay:

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Diocese releases CCH findings

Written by Sam Lucero | The Compass
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 10:37

Survey: Mass attendance increased 7.4 percent after Catholics Come Home

GREEN BAY — Eight months ago, the Diocese of Green Bay began airing television commercials for six weeks that invited Catholics to Come Home. This month, the diocese released survey findings that show Mass attendance increased an average of 7.4 percent after the commercials began to air.

In addition, more than 95 percent of parish leaders and parishioners reported that CCH had a positive influence on their lives.

Kristina DeNeve, director of spirituality and evangelization for the diocese and coordinator of the CCH initiative, released a summary of findings to parishes last week. In an interview, DeNeve said she was happy with the results, which offered some surprises.CatholicComeHomeLogoweb

“Probably the biggest, and most pleasant surprise associated with the surveys was the large number of people who actually began talking to other people once these commercials came out,” she said. “Over 55 percent of respondents said they talked more about faith matters either in public places or in private with friends and family.”

The CCH evaluation used four methods to reach its findings: A parish Mass attendance census taken in 96 percent of diocesan parishes; an online survey completed by 354 people; feedback from parish leaders during CCH gratitude dinners; and random calls to 20 percent of diocesan parishes. “This gave us both specific and general feedback, both verbally and in quantifiable ways, from people ranging from pastors to ordinary people in the pews,” said DeNeve.

Mass attendance

The Mass attendance census used figures taken in October 2009 and figures taken two weekends in April 2010. DeNeve noted that first Communions were held at 75 of the churches in April, which could have affected the statistical results.

She also noted that some parishes reported not seeing a change in attendance. “Some of our smaller parishes may have only had one or two more people come for the sacraments, which may not seem like a lot,” she explained. “And large parishes that have over 500 people at Mass may not even notice if there are 25 or 35 more people attending Mass that day. The program was a great success, but that does not mean our Masses became standing-room-only events.”
read entire article

Please continue to pray for all dioceses who are partnering to air CatholicsComeHome.org TV commercials begining this December, and for all those away from the faith who will receive this invitation to return home to Christ’s Catholic Church!

CatholicsComeHome.org TV messages continue to reach Green Bay Catholics!

Another GREAT update from a Diocese of Green Bay parish:

“An article on Catholics Come Home regarding St. Francis of Assisi and St. Peter the Fisherman Parishes has made the front page of the Manitowoc Herald Times.

We have had 9 people fill out cards. Five have registered. Our materials on our guest table are going.  People have taken the pamphlets on annulments.”

Please continue praying for those being reached by CCH TV ads, and grow in your faith this Lent by visiting CatholicsComeHome.org each day!

Testimonial from Diocese of Green Bay

We received this inspiring CCH testimonial from a parishioner in the Diocese of Green Bay, WI where CCH ads are currently airing this Lent:

“I was away from the Church for several years until 9/11/01.  I was in tower 2 in NYC when the second plane struck that tower. I was one of the lucky ones. I have been trying to give back to the Church ever since.  Our diocese is kicking off Catholics Come Home this Lent.  I want to be apart of this effort in my parish.  I have volunteered to be a partner to anyone wishing to talk about “coming home” to the Church. – John”

Visit CatholicsComeHome.org as part of your daily Lenten commitment to spend more time with Christ and His Catholic Church.

Press reports Catholics Come Home in Green Bay & Seattle…

CCH In the News:

Tom Peterson, CatholicsComeHome.org President & Founder, is in Seattle, Washington this week assisting the Archdiocese with many PR inquiries after the launch of CatholicsComeHome.org TV ad campaign which began this past Sunday, and will air until Easter.  The Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin is also airing a CatholicsComeHome.org TV campaign this Lent.

Click here to see Seattle TV News Story about the CatholicsComeHome.org TV Campaign

Click here to read Bishop Ricken’s message to his Diocese of Green Bay ‘flock’ regarding CatholicsComeHome.org TV Campaign

Visit CatholicsComeHome.org each day to grow in your faith this Lent!