The Catholic church plans to launch a nationwide advertising campaign during the Christmas holidays aimed at drawing lapsed souls back into the fold as they watch college football bowl games and several popular television shows.
The ads sponsored by Catholics Come Home, a lay organization faithful to church teachings, will showcase personal family moments and provide a brief history lesson of Catholicism, according to a report Wednesday in the Denver Post
The television commercials will air in all major U.S. television markets from Dec. 16 through Jan. 8 on such programs at NBC’s “Today Show,” “NBC Nightly News,” and CBS’s “NCIS.” The commercials will also be seen during many of the college bowl games.
The campaign could reach an estimated 250 million viewers, according to the Post.
“In our 2,000-year-history, the church has never run a nationwide campaign like this,” Catholics Come Home founder and president Tom Peterson
told the Post.
The church has sponsored a number of regional efforts in several major cities aimed at luring people back into the fold. Those campaigns have produced results, increasing church attendance in the areas where they took place.
But the church is hoping for much better turnouts on Sundays around the country as the national campaign runs its course.
The Post story noted, for example, that a recent survey by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University found that 42.7 million Catholics, or about two-thirds of all U.S. Catholics, don’t attend Mass.
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