Proclaiming the Gospel Through Broadcasting
Catholics Come Home Founder Speaks About Releasing Campaign in Mexico
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By Ann Schneible
ROME, APRIL 24, 2012 (Zenit.org).- A growing number of people from around the world are receiving the invitation to rediscover their home in the Catholic Church through initiatives that bring the Gospel message of hope and salvation directly into their homes through modern means of communication.
Through the use of Catholic evangelization commercials, or "evangomercials," viewers are invited to the Catolicos Regresen website, which features a welcoming message from Eduardo Verástegui.
Catholics Come Home, an apostolate which uses the media as a means of inviting Catholics to return to the faith, recently extended their mission to the people of Mexico, tying in with the Holy Father's Apostolic Journey to the country last month.
The people at Catholics Come Home are working to extend the campaign to other countries as well. A Polish language version was released in Chicago and broadcast in Poland, and they are working next to release it in Canada.
ZENIT recently spoke with Tom Peterson, president and founder of Catholics Come Home, about the initiative of broadcasting its message onto the airwaves of Mexico.
Catholics Come Home's mission of spreading the Gospel throughout the world is inspired by the call for the New Evangelization, and idea which was introduced by Blessed John Paul II, and then reiterated by Pope Benedict XVI. Both popes, Peterson explains, "encourage us to take the good news of Jesus and spread it to the ends of the earth. Catholics Come Home," he continues, "has brought our invitational, welcoming messages to Mexico, to encourage the people of Mexico and in other Spanish-speaking countries to come home to their Catholic faith."
Eduardo Verástegui, the Mexican actor best known for the film Bella which he produced and starred in, collaborated with Catholics Come Home. A cradle Catholic, Verástegui had achieved stardom and material success through his acting and singing careers, and drifted away from the faith. It was through the prayers of his mother and friends, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that he returned to the faith. "He really could understand the importance and benefit of Catolicos Regreson, and Catholics Come Home campaign," Peterson explained. "He also gives a testimony in the 'returning Catholics' portion of our English site, and lets people know how important it is to focus on God, that nothing you've done in your past can't be forgiven, and that Jesus is waiting with open arms to welcome you back to his Church."
The decision to launch Catholics Come Home in Mexico actually preceded the announcement from the Vatican that Pope Benedict would be making his Apostolic Journey to that country. "Last year, I was blessed to be invited to Mexico City by a group of faithful Catholics who liked our work of the New Evangelization," recounts Peterson, "and wanted to bring it to Mexico. Perhaps they had the foresight to prepare for the Holy Father's visit in this way; we certainly were thrilled to hear that they had opened some doors for these adds to air in Mexico for a few weeks prior to the Holy Father's visit, and certainly during and a few weeks afterward. We'll give credit to the Holy Spirit, we'll give credit to Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron of Mexico and of the Americas.
"We're very thankful that these warm and inviting messages were able to reach so many millions of people through the airwaves, inviting them home to the Catholic Church."