Thursday, February 14, 2013

Review: Catholics Come Home

About the Book:
God has something extraordinary planned for your life . . . 

In our fast-paced, highly technological world, this statement might sound a bit lofty, but the lives of millions of souls who have come before us attest to this simple truth: 

God has a wonderful plan in store for you.

With these words, Tom Peterson, founder and president of Catholics Come Home, a nonprofit multimedia organization dedicated to promoting Catholic evangelization, offers inspiration for believers from all walks of life, whether lapsed or practicing, to deepen their faith and draw them closer to Jesus and His Church.

In a series of moving stories and personal anecdotes, Tom relates how after rediscovering his faith, he experienced God's unfailing love, and soon found his true purpose in life.  You can too! Drawing from scripture, his own struggles and discoveries, and the lives of the saints as well as ordinary individuals, the author offers seven ways to enter into a more deeply personal relationship with Jesus.  These are pearls that you can share with others to illuminate the importance of the Catholic faith and open wide the door to a homecoming celebration.

My Comments:
I probably watch less television than the vast majority of people, yet even I have heard of Catholics Come Home and their ads.  Our parish has a banner on the fence proclaiming our welcome to Catholics who Come Home.  It is clearly a trendy thing in the American Catholic church today.  Whether it is here to stay or becomes another of the "must-do" programs that is done and forgotten in a few years (remember RENEW?) is yet to be seen but clearly it addresses a real need.  Far more baptized Catholics do not participate in the life of the Church than do.  Mass attendance is under 30% of baptized Catholics.  If "ex-Catholic" was a denomination, it would be one of the largest.  In short, we as a church need to evangelize to our friends and neighbors as much as we need to evangelize to those in non-Christian countries.  

Tom Peterson is an advertising guy.  He made lots of money in advertising and then felt the call of God to move his life away from worshiping the almighty dollar and towards the Almighty God.  Peterson was always Catholic, he always attended mass weekly, but God wasn't a priority in his life until some friends convinced him to attend a retreat where he had a conversion experience.  Catholics Come Home tells that story and tells us how he tried to properly order his life after that experience.  It also gives the reader a roadmap to evangalization, starting with getting your own house in order.  Peterson states that most of us are not called to preach on street corners but rather to witness to those in our lives, primarily through our lives, but also through lovingly spoken words--not arguing with people but sharing what God has done for us.  

In a lot of ways the book reads like an ad--quick and easy to follow, it makes its points and gets out.  It doesn't use complicated theological terms and is unfailingly positive.  The spiritual advise he gives is the old tried and true--daily mass when possible, frequent reception of the sacraments, daily prayer and scripture reading, spiritual reading.  While he gives some general advice for responding to peoples problems with Church teaching, this isn't an apologetics book nor does it really delve into the common reasons people leave the Church.  He does say that many who come back do so because they were invited, and he tells the stories of some he invited.  

I read the book in a couple of hours and found some food for thought.  If you want to ease into spiritual reading for Lent this may be a good book for you.  Grade:  B.  

I'd like to thank the publisher and B&B Media Group for making a review copy available for a First Wildcard tour.  You can check back on March 27 to read the first chapter.  

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