The Catholics Come Home® TV Commercials will be airing in the Diocese of Bismarck, North Dakota and state-wide in less than two weeks. The Bismarck Tribune reports, below:
Campaign asks Catholics to come home
By LEANN ECKROTH/ Bismarck Tribune | Posted: Monday, November 29, 2010 2:00 am
The Bismarck Catholic Diocese will unveil a multi-faceted welcome mat next month for those who have drifted away from the church.
The “Catholics Come Home®” TV commercials will air statewide from Dec. 17 to Jan. 30 for both the Bismarck and Fargo dioceses; they are financed separately by each diocese.
Other parts of the project take it to a more personal level. Priests and congregations are trained how to welcome those who have returned or want to.
On Nov. 18, several volunteers spent the day stuffing informational packets and DVDs for those who left and church members who want to deepen their faith. The packets include material about confessions, the rosary, and a DVD.
The local ad effort is an offshoot of the national Catholics Come Home® program, started by ad executive Tom Peterson, based in Roswell, Ga.
“He wanted to promote the faith,” said Mary Tarver, canon lawyer for the Bismarck Catholic Diocese. “It’s been run successfully in 20 dioceses. Phoenix saw a 15 percent increase in Mass attendance. It is just advertisements.”
Tarver said the ads give examples of why people leave the Catholic Church and what happened when they returned. “Each of the commercials … says , ‘If you’ve been away from the church, give us another chance, take another look at the Catholic church.’” Tarver said.
The Rev. Tom Richter said most of the ads are testimonies. He said they are true stories from people who share why they left the church and why they came back. Another two-minute ad shows people who watch the story of their lives. “They’re meant to inspire the heart to be close to Christ again with the church.”
Tarver said most who left said they just wanted an invitation to return after they drifted away. “That’s all we wanted to do — invite them back.”
She said specific dioceses are doing the television commercials, but they will go national in 2011.
Richter, who is a member of the Catholics Come Home® Committee , said the ads typically target the Advent and the Christmas-New Year’s and Lent-Easter seasons, “when people’s sentiments and desires come back to church are the highest ”
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Please Keep the Diocese of Bismarck, and all of our CCH Diocesan Partners in Your Prayers as they Prepare for these Important Evangelization Initiatives!
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