Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Commercial offers heartening perspective on our Church

By John Andrews
Director, Department of Communications

If you were watching the evening news or the NFL playoffs recently and a saw a dramatic commercial espousing the historic importance of the Catholic Church to western civilization, you might have done a double-take. This is not the usual silly beer commercial or glib car ad you expect in prime advertising slots.

The commercial was produced by Catholics Come Home, an organization that reaches out to the millions who were raised in the faith but no longer practice it. In fact, about 1 in 10 Americans fits into that category. At its conclusion the commercial beckons, “if you’ve been away from the Catholic Church we invite you to take another look.”

I hope the TV spot does, indeed, attract those who have been away from active participation in our faith. It is very well done and that kind of air time doesn’t come cheap, so a significant investment has been made in this campaign.

Beyond the target audience this commercial has a value for many who do practice our faith. It makes us feel good about being Catholic. In describing the Church, the commercial rolls out a list of credentials that is undeniably spectacular. It reminds us that the Church compiled the bible, started hospitals and orphanages, founded the college system, developed the scientific method and is the world’s largest charitable organization, among others. Our values – family, diversity, and the sacredness of all human life – are powerfully depicted.

On first viewing the commercial made me want to pump my fist or let out a “yeaahh!!!” A lot of times the stuff we see on TV about the Church is not so affirmative. As a guy whose ministry is to promote the good work of the Catholic Church in the media, this commercial is like manna from heaven. So I invite you to check it out at www.catholicscomehome.org (or below).

I also invite you to look for those who may have been moved by the commercial to come back to our church. Welcome them with the warmth and hospitality that is a value of our diocese. Welcome them back to our big ‘ole family (over a billion of us, says the commercial).

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