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Nancy Polacek is the Coordinator for the Strategic Pastoral Plan in the Office of Parish Life & Formation.

Monday, October 04, 2010

What happens when the Catholic Church uses modern media to evangelize?

According to surveys sent in after the Catholics Come Home ads went off the air last January, people really did “come home.”  Parishes reported that after the five weeks of television ads combined with their outreach efforts, more people were attending Mass and participating in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  An unexpected benefit to the television ads was that active parishioners felt a renewed sense of pride and Catholic identity because of the positive portrayal of the Church on TV.

Get ready for a new ad this year.  Once again you’ll see beautiful images and hear the signature music behind all of the Catholics Come Home ads, but this one may surprise people.  American television doesn’t usually send messages like, “simplicity brings joy and humility leads to happiness.”  While those statements are quite counter-cultural on their own, they will really stand apart when heard next to the usual Christmas advertisements that focus on buying more products to achieve happiness.

This year the focus on Catholics Come Home ads are part of the Archdiocesan evangelization efforts that will take a more personal approach.  The ad called “Home” mentions the peace and forgiveness that comes from faith.  Parishes will take advantage of this media event to promote ways that individuals can develop a deeper faith through prayer and the Sacraments.

The ads begin in mid-December, but the preparation in parishes has already begun this week.  There are eight Orientation sessions that will offer all the new aspects of Catholics Come Home Chicago to our 357 parishes.  The Parish Contacts will get materials and supplies so that their parish can join in this major evangelization initiative in the Chicago Archdiocese and the Dioceses of Joliet and Rockford.  Find out who your Parish Contact person is and ask how you can help to bring more Catholics back home.

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Comments

Monday, October 04, 2010 7:13 PM

Adam, thanks for your comment. Even those who have been catechized well need ongoing conversion to keep faith alive and strong. Pope Paul VI said that catechesis is a moment within evangelization-the two are interconnected. With hard work and God's grace this evangelization effort will reach many indviduals and strengthen parishes at the same time.

Nancy Polacek

Monday, October 04, 2010 1:13 PM

Imagine though if those resources were spent on properly catechizing the faithful in the first place? Our new media evangelization could then reach those who have never heard the Gospel, instead of bringing back those who left the Church because a lack of proper catechesis.

This, I believe, needs to be the face of new media in the Church. Proper and sound catechesis for all - even if they aren't receiving it in their current Parish.

Adam F.

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