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Catholics Come Home founder to speak in Madison Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Patrick Delaney, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Nov. 08, 2012 -- 12:00 AM

 

Tom Peterson

MADISON -- In his calling for our current Year of Faith, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed, “Today too, there is a need for stronger ecclesial commitment to new evangelization in order to rediscover the joy of believing and the enthusiasm for communicating the faith.”

The “new evangelization” was a term first coined by Pope Paul VI and more deeply developed by Blessed John Paul the Great. As clarified by Pope Benedict, it refers in a special way to the necessity of “re-proposing” the Gospel to those regions of the world “where the roots of Christianity are deep but who have experienced a serious crisis of faith due to secularization.”

The United States of America is no stranger to this crisis of faith. For example, a 2008 Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) study found that while 77 percent of Catholics in the U.S. proudly self-identify themselves as being Catholic, only 23 percent regularly attend Mass once a week. With the call for a new evangelization, the Church shows special concern for these baptized persons who have fallen away from full communion with Jesus Christ in the sacramental life of His Church.

For these brothers and sisters, Pope Benedict recently expressed the Church’s particular concern “that they should encounter Jesus Christ anew, rediscover the joy of faith, and return to religious practice in the community of the faithful.” In addition to “traditional and perennially valid pastoral methods, the Church seeks to adopt new ones . . . In various parts of the world, the Church has already set out on this path of pastoral creativity, so as to bring back those who have drifted away or are seeking the meaning of life, happiness, and, ultimately, God.”

Catholics Come Home

One Catholic layman who has been particularly effective in re-proposing the Gospel to his Catholic brothers and sisters who have fallen away from the practice of the faith is Tom Peterson. After building an award-winning career as a national corporate advertising executive, Peterson experienced a transforming spiritual conversion in 1997 while attending a men’s retreat. Soon afterward, he founded CatholicsComeHome.org.

Among other activities, Catholics Come Home produces beautiful television commercials designed to be aired in the secular media to invite non-practicing Catholics home to the Catholic Church. In the first three years of their existence, Catholics Come Home aired commercials in 33 dioceses, helping lead over 350,000 souls home to the Catholic Church.

More recently, in December 2011 and January 2012, their commercials aired nationally, on top TV networks like NBC, CBS, and others during prime-time, reaching 125 million viewers in every city across the United States 10 times, according to Neilsen data.

A most effective evangelizer and witness to the faith himself, Peterson has presented to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Australian Media Conference, and Australian Bishops Conference, and at worldwide conferences and pontifical councils. His apostolates have been featured in nearly 300 media venues worldwide, including on Fox News and EWTN.

Peterson’s second apostolate, VirtueMedia.org, creates and airs sanctity of life commercials, helping as many as 22,000 abortion-vulnerable women each month.

Coming to Madison

On Thursday, Nov. 15, Bishop Robert C. Morlino and the Diocese of Madison will welcome Peterson as the presenter for this fall’s St. Thérèse Lecture at the Bishop O’Connor Center in Madison at 7:30 p.m.

Peterson’s presentation is titled “Calling Catholic Heroes to the Rescue!” and will cover how all of us can grow closer to Jesus Christ and thus become more effective vehicles in bringing others to Him and His Gospel in our shared New Evangelization mission, so critical at this moment in the Church’s history.

All are invited to attend. Though it is not required, registration is appreciated. A reception will follow the presentation. To register, go to www.madisondiocese.org

 
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