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!

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.

A NEW TYPE OF GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT HELPING SOCIETY

A NEW TYPE OF GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT HELPING SOCIETY
MILLIONS VOLUNTEERING, DONATING, AND PRAYING TO HELP REFILL CHURCH PEWS AND SERVE HUMANITY 

Atlanta (Roswell), GA, December 28, 2011—At a time when the secular world moves on from Christmas, millions of supporters involved in the grassroots charity Catholics Come Home® (www.CatholicsComeHome.org) continue to serve humanity.  Faithful Catholics from parishes and dioceses across the U.S. and around the world continue this effort of the New Evangelization.

Nearly five-hundred, 30 and 60 second national network commercials inviting souls home to Church are airing throughout the New Year.  These highly produced and creative bilingual ads are airing nationally on top US networks like CBS, NBC, Univision, TBS, Fox News, TNT, CNN, and numerous other through January 8th.  Countless donors prayed for this effort and contributed more than $3.5 million dollars to air these national ads, in order to invite relatives, friends, neighbors and coworkers home to the Church.  Parishes have seen Mass attendance increase an average of ten percent in many of the thirty archdioceses and dioceses where the Catholics Come Home® ads have aired since 2008.  A number of parishes report that over 300,000 people have returned to the practice of faith after responding to a Catholics Come Home® television or website invitation.  Now the ads are airing nationally for the first time, reaching as many as 250 million viewers across the U.S.

Some of the most intriguing stories include:

Atheist turns Catholic in Denver
“Months ago, I was an atheist trying to convert people out of faith, Today I have returned to the Church, and now I am learning apologetics and defending the faith” – Adrian

Muslim converts back to Catholic Faith
“I’ve been away from the Church a long time…I practice the Muslim faith, and now I am coming back to the Catholic Church.’” -Archdiocese of Boston, MA

Hispanic woman returns in Boston after years away from Church
“I have come back to the Church a month today.  The joy I feel is beyond words” -Jackie

Agnostic teen returns to God in Chicago after hearing CCH Ads in Polish Language
“I’m 17 and I was always Catholic but I started moving further away from faith throughout the last year and a half.  I was slowly headed for agnosticism, but when I saw the (Catholics Come Home®) commercial, I couldn’t help but feel a small burst of happiness, and I do every time I see it.  In my ancestral homeland of Poland, many people saw the Polish language commercial and received it very positively.  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” – Richie

Young Adult Returns to Church in Green Bay
Television commercials for Catholics Come Home® aired locally and I was inspired by the media spot that highlighted Jesus calling Peter ‘the rock’ and saying ‘Upon this rock I will build my church.’  After that, I started to investigate the Church.  Everything just made sense to me and I knew that’s where I belong.” -Casey

In a time when politics and “occupy movements” steal the spotlight from “the reason for the season”, Catholics Come Home® and it’s grassroots supporters continue to remind the world of Jesus, His Church, and the love God has for each and every human soul.  As their popular “EPIC” commercial expresses, the more Catholics who practice their faith, the more humanitarian good can be done in the world.

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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 Susan Parkin, Program Director, at 678-585-7886 x106, or by e-mail to susan@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.

Atlanta (Roswell), GA, December 28, 2011—At a time when the secular world moves on from Christmas, millions of supporters involved in the grassroots charity Catholics Come Home® (www.CatholicsComeHome.org) continue to serve humanity.  Faithful Catholics from parishes and dioceses across the U.S. and around the world continue this effort of the New Evangelization.

Nearly five-hundred, 30 and 60 second national network commercials inviting souls home to Church are airing throughout the New Year.  These highly produced and creative bilingual ads are airing nationally on top US networks like CBS, NBC, Univision, TBS, Fox News, TNT, CNN, and numerous other through January 8th.  Countless donors prayed for this effort and contributed more than $3.5 million dollars to air these national ads, in order to invite relatives, friends, neighbors and coworkers home to the Church.  Parishes have seen Mass attendance increase an average of ten percent in many of the thirty archdioceses and dioceses where the Catholics Come Home® ads have aired since 2008.  A number of parishes report that over 300,000 people have returned to the practice of faith after responding to a Catholics Come Home® television or website invitation.  Now the ads are airing nationally for the first time, reaching as many as 250 million viewers across the U.S.

Some of the most intriguing stories include:

Atheist turns Catholic in Denver
“Months ago, I was an atheist trying to convert people out of faith, Today I have returned to the Church, and now I am learning apologetics and defending the faith” – Adrian

Muslim converts back to Catholic Faith
“I’ve been away from the Church a long time…I practice the Muslim faith, and now I am coming back to the Catholic Church.’” -Archdiocese of Boston, MA

Hispanic woman returns in Boston after years away from Church
“I have come back to the Church a month today.  The joy I feel is beyond words” -Jackie

Agnostic teen returns to God in Chicago after hearing CCH Ads in Polish Language
“I’m 17 and I was always Catholic but I started moving further away from faith throughout the last year and a half.  I was slowly headed for agnosticism, but when I saw the (Catholics Come Home®) commercial, I couldn’t help but feel a small burst of happiness, and I do every time I see it.  In my ancestral homeland of Poland, many people saw the Polish language commercial and received it very positively.  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” – Richie

Young Adult Returns to Church in Green Bay
Television commercials for Catholics Come Home® aired locally and I was inspired by the media spot that highlighted Jesus calling Peter ‘the rock’ and saying ‘Upon this rock I will build my church.’  After that, I started to investigate the Church.  Everything just made sense to me and I knew that’s where I belong.” -Casey

In a time when politics and “occupy movements” steal the spotlight from “the reason for the season”, Catholics Come Home® and it’s grassroots supporters continue to remind the world of Jesus, His Church, and the love God has for each and every human soul.  As their popular “EPIC” commercial expresses, the more Catholics who practice their faith, the more humanitarian good can be done in the world.

###
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 Susan Parkin, Program Director, at 678-585-7886 x106, or by e-mail to susan@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.

POLITICS OR JESUS THIS CHRISTMAS?

Catholics Come Home

POLITICS OR JESUS THIS CHRISTMAS?
MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR GRASSROOTS AD CAMPAIGN COMPETES
FOR PUBLIC’S ATTENTION


Atlanta (Roswell), GA
—This Friday (December 16th), just in time for Christmas, Catholics Come Home® begins airing a massive, national prime-time network television evangelization initiative airing December 16, 2011 through January 8, 2012.

With the Presidential Primaries starting and the U.S. Presidential Election just months away, Americans are looking for someone to help answer their most critical needs.  Over 38,000 families, coast to coast, are so certain that Jesus delivers our true hope and real change that they are investing nearly $4,000,000 into this inviting, albeit countercultural, grassroots message” says Tom Peterson, President and Founder of Catholics Come Home, Inc.

Presidential political ads will soon need to share the national spotlight with these bilingual evangelization ads, blanketing the prime-time network airwaves and highlighting the benefits of Jesus and His Church.  The Hollywood-quality ads will reach 250 million television viewers in over 10,000 U.S. cities in every TV market throughout the United States, airing over 400 times during the Christmas and New Year’s seasons.   The Catholics Come Home® commercials air on major networks including: CBS, NBC, Univision, TBS, USA, TNT, CNN, FoxNews, etc…during shows like 60 Minutes, NCIS, Bones, NBC Nightly News , the Today Show, Jay Leno, O’Reilly, major College Football Bowl Games, and highly rated sitcoms.  Viewers will be directed to their local parish, or can learn more at CatholicsComeHome.org or CatolicosRegresen.org .

Catholics Come Home® hopes to inspire as many as one million souls to come home to local parishes.  This evangelization goal is based on statistical census results from Catholics Come Home® local media initiatives that have aired in 30 past partner dioceses, ranging from Chicago to Seattle and Boston to Phoenix.  Where these ads have aired, Mass attendance has increased an average of 10%.  In the first dozen dioceses, the ads helped lead over 300,000 people home to the Church, just since Lent 2008.

According to a recent CARA Catholic Poll (CCP), only 33% of U.S. Catholics attend weekly Mass.  That means 42.7 million, or two-thirds of U.S. Catholics are not going to Mass. The number of Americans identifying themselves as non-religious/secular increased 110% from 1990 to 2000, now 13.2% of the total population.  The average American spends 38 hours per week consuming media, with TV and internet being the top two choices.

“These inspiring messages are sponsored by tens of thousands of Catholics who want to invite neighbors, relatives, and co-workers to ‘the largest family reunion in modern history’.  Our true hope and real change won’t come from Washington D.C. this Christmas.  The answers to our most critical needs come from Heaven via a manger in Bethlehem, where Jesus continues to change hearts and our world for the better! ” said Catholics Come Home President and Founder, Tom Peterson.

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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.

Catholic News Agency (CNA) Reports: Catholics Come Home National Campaign

CNA logo

Catholics Come Home announces ad campaign on major networks

Atlanta, Ga., Nov 3, 2011 / 03:31 am (CNA).- Catholics Come Home has announced a major prime time evangelization initiative set to air on American TV networks beginning in mid-Advent and ending after Christmas.

The initiative’s advertising campaign aims to reach 250 million television viewers in over 10,000 U.S. cities and in every U.S. diocese.

“These inspiring messages are sponsored by 30,000 Catholic families who want to invite neighbors, relatives, and co-workers to the largest family reunion in modern history,” said Catholics Come Home founder Tom Peterson.

The ad used in the campaign notes the beauty and history of the Catholic Church. It mentions Catholics’ traditions of prayer, help for the poor, and work in education.

“Guided by the Holy Spirit, we compiled the Bible,” it says, stating that the Church was “started by Jesus.”

“If you’ve been away, come home to your parish, and visit CatholicsComeHome.org today,” the ad says.

Catholics Come Home says the ad is scheduled to air over 400 times from Dec. 16 through Jan. 8.

Read entire article at: Catholic News Agency

Breaking Catholic News. First time in history.

Catholics Come Home
FIRST TIME EVER…
CATHOLIC EVANGELIZATION ADS
ON NATIONAL, PRIME-TIME NETWORK TELEVISION!
CATHOLICS COME HOME
®COMMERCIALS AIRING NATIONWIDE 

Atlanta (Roswell), GA, November 2, 2011—Catholics Come Home® announces a major, national, prime-time network television evangelization initiative, for the first time ever in the 2,000 year history of the Catholic Church, to air from December 16, 2011 through January 8, 2012.

This invitation of the New Evangelization highlights the history, beauty, spirituality and accomplishments of the Catholic Church.  The positive message will reach 250 million television viewers in over 10,000 U.S. cities and every diocese throughout the United States, airing over 400 times during the three week period spanning before Christmas through the Feast of the Epiphany, January 8, 2012.

Catholics Come Home® hopes to inspire as many as one million souls to come home to local parishes.  This evangelization goal is based on statistical census results from Catholics Come Home® media initiatives that have aired in 30 past partner dioceses, ranging from Chicago to Seattle and Boston to Atlanta.   Where these ads have aired, Mass attendance has increased an average of 10%, and helped over 300,000 people home to the Church, just since 2008.

The bi-lingual Catholics Come Home® commercials are scheduled to air on CBS, NBC, Univision, TBS, USA, TNT, CNN, FoxNews, and other networks during shows like 60 Minutes, NCIS, Kennedy Center Honors, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, Jay Leno, O’Reilly, major sports, and highly rated sitcoms.  Viewers will be directed to their parish and will learn more at CatholicsComeHome.org or CatolicosRegresen.org (Spanish).

According to a recent CARA Catholic Poll (CCP), only 33% of U.S. Catholics attend weekly Mass.  That means 42.7 million, or two-thirds of U.S. Catholics, are not going to Mass. The number of Americans identifying themselves as non-religious/secular increased 110% from 1990 to 2000, now 13.2% of the total population.  The average American spends 38 hours per week consuming media, with TV and internet being the top two choices.  Mormons, Christian Scientists, and Atheists are now advertising.

“These inspiring messages are sponsored by 30,000 Catholic families who want to invite neighbors, relatives, and co-workers to the largest family reunion in modern history” said Founder, Tom Peterson.

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Click here to view the national ad.

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.

You Won't Believe Who Came "Home"

Catholics Come Home

More great news in our effort to bring souls home! Our Lenten 2011, Catholics Come Home® diocesan partner campaigns concluded airing several weeks ago at Easter Sunday, and the fruit has been tremendous.  Here’s a sample of what we are hearing from our diocesan partner parishes:

  • Janet Benestad, Archdiocese of Boston, "What's in Store" Segment on WBZ (CBS)“A gentleman called me the other day and he said, ‘I’ve been away from the Church a long time; I’m a baptized Catholic.  I practice the Muslim faith, and now I am coming back to the Catholic Church.’”
    –Archdiocese of Boston, MA
    (be sure to watch the video at right)
  • “I have someone take head counts and have an 8 year running history in my current parishes.  I just wanted to let you know that my Triduum celebrations and Easter weekend Masses this year were all up by +20%.  The only other thing I can attribute it to (besides my good preaching), is the Catholics Come Home program.”
    –Diocese of Winona, MN
  • A number of people during this Season of Lent who have seen the commercials have come back to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. They have mentioned it and it was a moving moment for them to seek the Catholic Church again.”
    –Diocese of Winona, MN

  • “The St. Agnes Easter Sunday sunrise service attendance had a 20 percent increase in attendance.”
    –Diocese of Venice, FL

Please pray for these new Advent 2011 partners:

Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend
Diocese of St. Petersburg


Do you know that popular Catholic Bible teacher and Catholics Come Home® Theological Advisory Board member, Jeff Cavins, was once a fallen away Catholic (and protestant pastor for 12 years!) before he returned to the Church?  Click to watch Cavins’ personal testimony video.  Meet Jeff in person July 22-23 in Atlanta at the National Catholic Bible Conference.  Our own Katie Peterson, CCH Communications Manager, will be presenting, “Crossroads: Gen Y and God’s Word: How to Proclaim the Word of God to a Generation with a Different Dialect.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support, which make airing these commercials possible! Please donate today to air ads in your community this December.  Help bring “home” a loved one.

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

Abortion Case Plaintiff Pro-Life TV Commercial Precedes "Big Screen" Debut

VirtueMedia
Abortion Case Plaintiff Pro-Life TV Commercial
precedes”Big Screen” Debut
Norma McCorvey’s Sanctity of Life Ad Seen By Millions

May 17, 2011 (Atlanta, GA) The Hollywood Reporter announced that Norma McCorvey, aka “Jane Roe”, the plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, will play the role of a a pro-life woman in the upcoming abortion themed movie, “Doonby.”  Long before her upcoming movie role, McCorvey starred in a pro-life TV commercial seen by millions.  The “Norma” commercial was created by VirtueMedia.org, a Catholic pro-life apostolate founded by Tom Peterson.

McCorvey states in the television message, “Back in 1973 I was a very confused twenty-one year old with one child and facing an unplanned pregnancy.  At the time I fought to obtain a legal abortion, but truth be told, I have three daughters and never had an abortion.”  She continues with, “upon knowing God, I realized that my case which legalized abortion on demand was the biggest mistake of my life.”  McCorvey is now an active Roman Catholic.  McCorvey concludes the PSA style message by compassionately saying, “you read about me in history books, but now I am dedicated to spreading the truth about preserving the dignity of all human life from natural conception to natural death.”

The “Norma” commercial has been seen by millions of viewers when it debuted nationally in 2009 and 2010, and also continues to air regionally across the U.S. in markets like Colorado Springs, Phoenix, Lexington, Omaha, and others.

Alan E. Sears, CEO of the Alliance Defense Fund responded to the commercial saying, “Norma McCorvey’s testimony is an incredible example of God’s redeeming grace.  I commend Norma for her courage to speak out on the evils of abortion and pray that her redemptive story will touch hearts and change minds.”

The “Norma” commercial is available to air locally in partnership with VirtueMedia, and can also be shared by social media  via YouTube.

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VirtueMedia, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) national not for profit media organization, founded in 1998 by Tom Peterson, who is also founder and president of Catholics Come Home® media evangelization apostolate.  VirtueMedia.org is dedicated to producing and airing powerful and life-saving television ads, radio commercials and educational films that air on national, local and international television networks.

To partner to air “Norma” or other VirtueMedia commercials, contact Susan Gerdvil, Program Director at susan@virtuemedia.org, 678-585-7814 x106.
For more information, or to schedule an interview with Tom Peterson, contact Yvonne Marchese, Executive Director at yvonne@virtuemedia.org, 678-585-7814 x101, or by mail to: VirtueMedia, PO BOX 1802, Roswell, GA 30077.

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.

BILL MAHER CRUCIFYING CATHOLICS

Catholics Come Home
BILL MAHER CRUCIFYING CATHOLICS
ANTI-CATHOLICISM – AN ACCEPTABLE PREJUDICE IN AMERICA

(March 15, 2011) Atlanta, GA—The notoriously anti-religious HBO talk show host, Bill Maher recently featured a three-minute segment on his “Real Time with Bill Maher” show, slamming Catholicism, and in particular Catholic priests, just as one-billion Catholics worldwide observe Ash Wednesday, the start of the forty-day Holy Season of Lent.

Maher specifically edited and perverted one of the highly-effective national commercials produced by the lay-Catholic charitable outreach organization, CatholicsComeHome.org.

In an effort to offer unwavering hope and peace to families during these troubled economic and conflict-driven times, nine Catholic dioceses, including the Archdiocese of Boston, are partnering with CatholicsComeHome.org to use television and the Internet to share the life-giving power of faith in God by inviting inactive Catholics home to the Church during the Lenten season.  This initiative marks the 30th market launching the Catholics Come Home® evangelization initiative. These ads and interactive website have reached 40 million viewers across the US and 1.5 million viewers worldwide through CatholicsComeHome.org in the past three years.  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 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.”  Where these ads have aired, Mass attendance has increased an average of 10 percent, and as much as 18 percent.

But despite these gentle television invitations, Bill Maher continues to rant against all things Catholic, in an effort to “crucify” the Catholic Church by holding it up to continual ridicule and scorn.  Maher inaccurately claims that the “Catholic Church made these ads.”  False. The hierarchy of the Church did not produce these ads,  CatholicsComeHome.org did.  The television and website advertisements accessible at www.CatholicsComeHome.org were created and are supported by a group of Catholic families and individuals inspired by Pope John Paul II’s call for a New Evangelization.

Maher went on to ridicule the Catholic Church as comprised of only “white hair” geriatrics, when, in reality, Catholic parishes across the U.S., particularly in the South and Southwest, are experiencing an increased Mass attendance.  Adrian, a young man in his 20’s from Colorado watched the CatholicsComeHome.org commercial called “Epic,” and wrote:  “Months ago, I was an atheist trying to convert people out of the faith.  I felt like God was personally calling me home.”  Adrian and his family are now practicing Catholics and he is helping his younger brother to also return to the Catholic faith.

Maher also attempted to exploit the Catholic clergy sexual abuse crisis to cast a cloud of suspicion on all Catholic priests in particular and on the Catholic Church in general.  While all sin is deplorable to God, Maher is grossly distorting the facts in the service of his “smear the Catholic Church” abuse information.  The fact is, the national percentage of Catholic priests accused of abuse amounts to one half of one percent, according to Catholic Answers, “Understanding the Priests Scandal”.  Protestant and secular experts have even cited surveys showing the actual abuse among Catholic clergy to be much lower than other denominations, as well as significantly lower than the general population (P. Jenkins, Pedophiles and Priests; J. Could, “Pedophilia,” Time Magazine, April 2002).

Despite these statistics, the public typically only hears of the criminally unfaithful priests, rather than the tragedy of the overall abuse problem in our culture.  CatholicsComeHome.org is on the record as proclaiming that the root cause of evil, such as sexual abuse, is human sinfulness and the abandonment of Jesus’s teachings of moral Truth.

Maher ignores the millions of faithful Catholics worldwide, as well as the 2,000 year history of the Church: starting hospitals, feeding the poor and caring for homeless, educating millions of young students, starting the university system, and contributing to the scientific method and laws of evidence. These are the truths of history that are often forgotten.  He also fails to take into account the “faithful majority” of Catholics, literally thousands of holy priests and bishops, religious sisters, and lay ministers who have helped transform Western Civilization, often at the price of martyrdom. Despite the reports of scandal among some criminally unfaithful priests in past years, Catholicism continues to flourish.

Even so, Catholics Come Home desires to reach those who have not been to Mass in a while, or do not attend church regularly  “Most say that they are not upset with the Church nor disagree with her teachings,” said Tom Peterson, president and founder of Catholics Come Home, “in fact, the vast majority, about 90 percent, are telling us that they just drifted away from their practice of faith due to many secular lures of the world.”  When they are asked, “Why did you come home?” the majority of returnees answer, “Because you invited me.”

These television campaigns feature ads in multiple languages including English, Spanish, Portuguese and Polish, in the most popular programming like news, sports and prime time.

Even many Non-Catholics have praised the Catholics Come Home commercials.  Debra, a Presbyterian from Charlotte, states, “I just saw your TV commercial and I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it.  It is so refreshing to see your religion in such a positive light.

Peterson concludes with a plea:  “So now is the time for faithful Catholics and all Christians to join together to pray for our troubled world, to follow the example of Jesus and to love our neighbor, and to invite Bill Maher, his viewers and others back to the practice of faith, back to a life of love, back to the healing and peace that always triumphs over evil, and only comes from God.”

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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: Susan Gerdvil at 678-585-7886 x106, or by e-mail to susan@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.