Local priests optimistic that Catholics still returning home

Daily Chronicle Online

Local priests optimistic that Catholics still returning home

By ELENA GRIMM

Six months after the Rockford Diocese launched TV commercials inviting fallen-away Catholics to return to the church, the Rev. Tim Seigel is still getting calls from people who want to come back, a ripple effect that he believes started with the television advertising.

The commercials, which ran in December and January, were followed by programs led by laypeople and priests at each parish, inviting people interested in regaining their Catholic faith to meet once a week throughout the Lenten season.

Whatever evidence is considered – like an increase in Mass attendance throughout the diocese or anecdotal evidence, like the phone calls Seigel is still receiving – the diocese and local priests know that change is happening.

“There is something happening here and it’s a very exciting time,” said Seigel, pastor of St. Catherine of Genoa Church in Genoa.
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Visit CatholicsComeHome.org to learn ways you can help spread the word about this evangelization initiative through your parish!

Real People. Real Stories. – Responses to CCH Ads Airing Now!

CatholicsComeHome.org TV ads have been airing in eight dioceses for just over a week, and here’s what we’re hearing in response already!

- “I’m a fallen-away Catholic. Those CCH commercials on tv got me. Yesterday I went to Confession & Mass. It felt great, but I’m going slow…” -facebook post

- “Sat down to watch Frosty the Snowman with the kids and saw one of the commercials. Having much success here in Omaha already! New converts, and at least a dozen returned that we know of in the first few days…” -Omaha, NE

- “I have returned to the Catholic Church recently, and Catholics Come Home did play a big part! Thank you!” -Westminster, CO

- “Fascination; factual but not preachy; very well produced. I am not a confirmed Catholic, but have attended Mass all over the world during my 22-year military career, and was really stirred by your message. Keep up the good work!” -Sacramento, CA

- “I wish to learn more about my church and my faith. Although I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools, there is much I have either forgotten or never learned.”
-Chicago, IL

- “I just want to tell you as a practicing Catholic I find your commercial truly inspiring. I have family members that have fallen away from the Church and I hope they have the opportunity to see this commercial with the hope that it brings them home. Thank you!” -Omaha, NE

We are grateful to YOU! Your prayers and support allow us to keep reaching-out to those away from the faith.

As we continue the Christmas season, and finish this amazing year of 2009, we remind you that there has never been a better time to make an offering to Catholics Come Home. Your year end gift of $100, $50 or whatever you can do to help, is fully tax deductible to the limits of current tax code AND you can celebrate the fact that your generosity is assisting many find their way back to our Catholic family! But you must make your online gift by midnight on December 31 in order to get a tax deduction for 2009.

Click here to make your gift!

May God continue to bless you and your family during this Christmas season, and in 2010!

The CCH Ads are airing in IL – check-out this SUPPORTIVE e-mail response we received…

The CatholicsComeHome.org TV ad campaign began airing yesterday in three dioceses in IL…and we are already receiving amazing, supportive e-mails – check this one out:

“YES!!! Just saw for the very first time a commercial on a major television network (NBC), during a break in the Ellen DeGeneres Show, a commercial PROMOTING CATHOLICISM !!! At 52, I’ve been a Catholic all my life, have been dismayed and disturbed at the apparent huge decline in number of Catholics (especially practicing ones), and the total absence of any positive portrayal in any media about the Church — in fact, it’s usually ANTI-Catholicism that’s disseminated to society by the liberal media. It’s LONG overdue to use the media to fight back, fight for our Church, fire with fire, and use marketing to restore our reputation and respect world-wide, and thereby maybe bring people back and GAIN the younger generations who are desperately in need of knowledge of God and his love for us, through the Catholic Church, but have taken in all of the bad press out there about the Church. It’s ABOUT TIME !!! Where has everyone been??!! Keep those positive messages coming!! The rest of society needs what we as a Church have to offer! It’s up to us to turn things around, and no longer be quiet about or embarrassed to say “I’m a Catholic!” With restored pride and hope for our future.
-Karen”

Thanks for your prayers and support for CCH!  You can view all the CCH TV ads at www.CatholicsComeHome.org (to see personal testimonies, visit the ‘Real People, Real Stories’ section)