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By Deacon Keith Fournier

12/21/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

'We are in the midst of a New Evangelization, and I believe this book is a signal moment in its success. This book is a grace from God. It is also a sign that will lead many folks back home to the family of God, which is the Catholic Church'. (Dr. Scott Hahn)  

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/21/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Tom Peterson, Catholics Come Home, Scott Hahn, New Evangelization, Peter Kreeft, Patrick Madrid, Missionary Age, Evangelism, Rick Warren, Catholic converts, testimony, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - In a few days the world will pause to remember the Nativity of the Lord Jesus, the birth of greatest gift ever given. In those words penned by the beloved disciple John, the most quoted words of the Holy Bible, we read: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him." (John 3:16)

God the Father is the greatest gift giver. In giving us His Son Jesus, He has given us everything. Jesus is the "Yes" of God. St Paul wrote to the Corinthians and reminded them, "For however many are the promises of God, their Yes is in him." (2 Cor. 1) Yet, so many do not know the great gift which we soon pause to remember and receive anew as we bend the knee at a stable in Bethlehem where a King was born. 

That is why we need evangelizers, men and women who tell the "Good News" - that is what the word Gospel means - in a naturally supernatural way. Men like Tom Peterson, the founder of "Catholics Come Home". I met Tom Peterson years ago at a Catholic Leadership Conference. I remember the year because I had pneumonia and almost did not even attend that particular conference. However, after persevering through the long trip because the conference is always a highlight of my year, I knew I simply HAD to meet this man.

I had seen my first "Catholics Come Home" commercial months earlier and became convinced that the work of this non-profit media apostolate was going to become one of the most important resources for the New Evangelization in my lifetime. "Finally," I thought to myself, "someone is using the new integrated media with excellence to tell the real story of the greatest treasure in the whole world, the fullness of the Christian faith as found within the Catholic Church."

On the first day of the conference I found Tom in the crowd. I was brimming over with enthusiasm. I walked up to him, introduced myself, and told him that I believed the work the Lord had given to him was one of the greatest resources we had in this new missionary age. Those who know me know that when I believe something is anointed by the Spirit and effective, I am blunt and right to the point. However, in retrospect, I was visibly very sick and anything but laid back in that encounter.

Fortunately, Tom was not put off by either my manner or my coughing. He was encouraged. We conversed for quite some time and connected throughout that important weekend. I had the opportunity to see their newest commercials and to hear Tom speak. This gifted and humble man left a successful advertising career to serve the Lord and his Church in this critical time in history. He is an extraordinary example of what is needed throughout the entire Catholic Church, a lay Catholic Christian who has truly encountered the Lord and is dedicated to giving Him away to others.

Tom Peterson has made the New Evangelization his Life's mission. He is a man who lives to share the good news of the Christian life as found in its fullness within the Catholic Church. Tom, who refers to himself as an "advertising guy, simple and not a scholar" has built "Catholics Come Home" into an evangelization effort which is unmatched in the Catholic Church today. Both its reach and its quality are appropriate to the new missionary age in which we live. It was said of Jesus "He does all things well". (Mk &:37)  It can also be said of His follower, Tom Peterson.  

Like the little boy with the loaves and the fish in the Gospel account of the multiplication of the loaves and the fish (John 6), Tom Peterson has offered what he had and the miracle continues through the hands of Jesus Christ. This "advertising guy" is utilizing the best quality offered by the integrated media of our age to reach real people with the real hope they need in an age that has lost its soul. I again affirm what I told Tom years ago, this is one of the most important resources available in this critically important hour.

I had the privilege of being a lay witness to the fullness of Christianity as found in the Catholic Church for many years. Then, I was ordained to the order of Deacon sixteen years ago. My service as a Deacon is deeply involved in the New Evangelization in the Catholic Church - as well as in the New Missionary age of the Catholic Church, for the world. I have the joy of sharing the Catholic faith with many former or fallen away Catholics and helping them find their way home. I also have the joy of helping Christians from other communities come into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

Because of this sense of personal vocation, I am always looking for resources to help in the work. Catholics Come Home is one of the greatest resources available. The effort has reached well over 40 million viewers across the US and over 1.5 million viewers worldwide in the past three years.  According to census statistics published by participating dioceses, "Catholics Come Home" ads have helped more than 200,000 fallen away Catholics come home to the Catholic Church.

Now, there is a book which tells the life story of Tom Peterson and the Catholics Come Home Apostolate in a compelling, delightful and accessible way. It is a model of how to do effective personal evangelization. Tom begins his first chapter, entitled "God's Extraordinary Plan for You", by quoting a great evangelizer Saint, Ignatius of Loyola: "Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly."

In doing so he sets the pattern for a popularly written evangelistic book which draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and the fullness of the Christian faith as found in His Catholic Church. The book is written with the compelling simplicity and love which characterizes personal evangelization and testimony. Tom continues:  "God has something extraordinary planned for your life. Let me say that again slowly because it's really important. 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 mil-lions of souls who have come before us attest to this simple truth: God has a wonderful plan in store for you. God wants you to be happy. He wants you to experience His unfailing compassion. He wants you to feel the warmth of mercy and to share His love with others. God wants you to know that you exist for a reason. Discovering God's plan for your life is rather easy, yet, to be honest, somewhat difficult, too. It starts with saying yes to the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to guide you."

You can read the first chapter by clicking right here. Then, you can pre-order this wonderful book by clicking here. The book contains endorsements from several popular Christian evangelists and apologists including Catholics Dr. Peter Kreeft and Patrick Madrid, and evangelical Rick Warren. The endorsement of Dr. Scott Hahn, who also wrote the forward to the book, summarizes its significance in these words: "We are in the midst of a New Evangelization, and I believe this book is a signal moment in its success. This book is a grace from God. It is also a sign that will lead many folks back home to the family of God, which is the Catholic Church."  

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