The television outreach Catholics Come Home.org is partnering with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix to make its area, central and northern Arizona, a test market to try to get inactive Catholics to return to the church and engage with it again.
For the first three weeks of March, leading up to Easter Sunday on March 23, Catholic Come Home Inc. will air television commercials on local and cable channels to invite inactive Catholics and others searching for a faith home to explore the faith anew or for the first time. Major local TV stations, plus the cable channels of Fox News, Lifetime, Weather Plus and others will carry the messages — nearly 900 commercial airings in English and Spanish.
The commercials will point watchers to a Web site, www.catholicscomehome.org, where they will get information on church teachings, “why strong faith is important in today’s busy and confusing world,” an overview of the Catholic faith and information on finding Catholic parishes in their area. Meanwhile the diocese has bilingual educational materials through the Department of Family Catechesis, available at www.diocesephoenix.org.
“We need to let them know that they are missed, welcome them back and show them that the Catholic faith is their home, their extended family,” said Ryan Hanning, coordinator of adult evangelization for the diocese.
Bishop Thomas Olmsted said the new initiative provides “fertile soil for those who return or inquire into the Catholic faith.”
“We hope to inspire renewed faith among active Catholics and use this outreach as an opportunity to help parishes evangelize more fruitfully,” he said.
Catholics Come Home.org is not funded by the Vatican nor the diocese. Catholics make up about a quarter of the U.S. population and about 17 percent of the world population, or 1.1 billion people.