We’re home to stay!

Editor’s Note: This is an updated post from the original which ran on June 22, 2016.
Tom Peterson is living proof how one man’s “yes” can change the world. He could have ignored the Holy Spirit’s promptings or brushed off his supernatural experiences as a mere whim, but thank the Lord, he didn’t.
Peterson, founder and president of Catholics Come Home and later CatholicsComeHome.org, says he received a “complete infusion of the Holy Spirit” during Benediction at a men’s retreat in 1997. After 15 years as an advertising executive at the time, Peterson realized he was not consistently living a Christ-centered life.
Later, this experience and two profound dreams convinced him to start Catholics Come Home. In one dream, he was “helping a little baby.” In the second, he was producing Catholic films. Peterson also started attending daily mass and reading the Bible.
According to a priest Peterson consulted, God was calling him to use his God-given advertising talents to promote pro-life and become involved in Catholic evangelization. In 1998, two separate apostolates: VirtueMedia and Catholics Come Home were born.
VirtueMedia.org, a non-profit pro-life organization, reaches up to about 23,000 women monthly considering abortion. The results? “Statistics show about one-half will choose life,” Peterson said.
Similarly, Catholics Come Home reaches out, but to a bigger audience. It invites inactive Catholics and others “to come home to Jesus and His Church,” he explained.
“Jesus meets us where we are. “He doesn’t force. He takes our ‘yes,’ then the Holy Spirit reaches in and does the heavy lifting,” the Georgia resident says.
Because of his evangomercials™ (evangelization commercials), souls have come home by the “tens of thousands,” according to Peterson. In fact about six years ago, Catholics Come Home partnered with the Archdiocese of Chicago and the late Cardinal George to bring local evangomercials™ to the local airwaves. An 8.1 percent increase in mass attendance was reported and Catholics Come Home was asked to return the following year.
Catholics Come Home found that most Catholics leave because they drift away, sleep in on Sundays, have a conflicting work schedule or just “got out of the habit.” In fact, some report that they really don’t have a particular reason.
Dr. Gloria Sampson of Canada was raised Catholic, but drifted from the faith, married an atheist, and later taught English in Communist China. After 53 years, she “came home” after viewing a few evangomercials™ and now evangelizes to others.
Although the church loses about 4 to 5 percent of its members yearly, Peterson says, things are looking up. Two longitudinal studies show that a “vast majority” of returnees stay and help others return/come into the Catholic Church, Peterson says.
Some report after seeing an evangomercial™, they “tear up” and feel the Holy Spirit inviting them home. They feel God touching their hearts. Some say, “I rushed right to mass or confession. I felt I needed to get right with God,” he reports.
Although returning/new members are across the board, the largest group is 35-64 year-olds. Some return because of their young children; others may be divorcees, not remarried, who were uninformed about their ability to “come home through reconciliation.” Still others have personal stories to tell.
For instance, at one time, Philadelphian Mike Mark was a drug addict and dealer. While jobless, he came back after viewing an evangomercial™. In addition, he later helped his 90-year-old father return!
However, Peterson’s new project and website, CatholicsComeHome.com, is directed toward millennials, 18-34 year olds. Although many were raised Catholic, a vast majority see little purpose for religion.
On the upside, “They are looking for something more and have exhausted what the world has given them,” he explains. They value authenticity in people of faith; many “love” Pope Francis and his outreach to the poor. Francis’s example and service especially attracts this age group.
Peterson and his organization evangelize in other ways as well including: Peterson’s book, “Catholics Come Home – God’s Plan for your Extraordinary Life,” available at the website, a series on EWTN and all Catholic channels, and by speaking engagements at parish/Catholic events teaching evangelization.
Peterson’s personal belief is, “In the end, God will ask us to be accountable for the souls we loved to heaven.” He hopes we can answer a resounding ‘yes’ to Jesus’s call to the Good News to the world in need. What will your answer be?


Copyright 2016, Mary Mitchell

Mary Mitchell

Mary Mitchell

Mary Mitchell, from Chicago, is a devout Catholic who likes to mix the divine truth with humor. She thinks it's the only way we can get through this life! Mary is the mother of three and has been married to her husband, Philip, more than 20 years. She has attempted to live the vows as a Secular Franciscan for about 20 years, but has a long way to go.

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