Nearly 100,000 lapsed Catholics came back to the Church in the last year in parts of the US after a groundbreaking television advertising campaign entitled Catholics Come Home.

Image and video Copyright 2009, Catholics Come Home, Inc.

visit – www.catholicscomehome.org to see further testimonials and catechetical material

Testimonials

The TV adverts featured people and locations from around the US diocese of Phoenix, Arizona and introduced people to the website - www.catholicscomehome.org, which addresses often misunderstood aspects of the faith.

“For those who had fallen away from the practice of their faith, it let them know that we want them to come home,” Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted said.

The commercials, which ran this time last year, showcased the good works of the Catholic Church throughout history, and offered real-life testimonials of local lapsed Catholics, explaining what turned them away and what drew them back.

“Phoenix was supposed to be this quiet little test,” said former Phoenician Tom Peterson, president and founder of Catholics Come Home based in Georgia. “Word went worldwide as soon as we launched.”

More than half a million different visitors from all 50 states and 80 countries have visited the Catholicscomehome.com web site since the spots first aired.

The response was so positive that other dioceses around the country are looking to Phoenix for ideas on bringing Catholics back to the Church.

The Diocese of Corpus Christi in Texas recently launched different versions of the television spots in English and Spanish. Each parish supplemented the commercials with a brochure for everyone at Ash Wednesday services, answering common faith-related questions and listing Mass times and ministries.

The Catholics Come Home spots will appear in more than a dozen other dioceses around the country later this year and early next. By the time the season of Advent rolls around in 2010, organisers say they’ll go national on major networks.