More than 3,000 commercials to air in Cincy, Dayton, Lima - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Catholic leaders unveiling media campaign to bring back members


On Wednesday, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati announced it will roll out several media spots in an effort to welcome people back to the Catholic faith.

Through the Christmas season and into the new year, more than 3,000 commercials will air in English and Spanish throughout the Cincinnati, Dayton and Lima TV markets.

Archbishop Dennis Schnurr said at the press conference on Wednesday that the archdiocese is building off of what the Pope has deemed the "Year of Faith."

More than 30 other dioceses have implemented the "Catholics Come Home" campaign, and Cincinnati is hoping the catholic community here finds similar success.

"The Catholic population in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, yes, it has diminished over the years," Archbishop Schnurr said. "But that's reflective of the Catholic Church throughout the United States. That's also reflective of the culture of the United States in general."

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati hopes to reverse that trend by launching the television ads during the Advent season.

"It's an opportunity, I think, that with everything that's going on in the country and in the world, to help people find some peace in their lives," said the Rev. Jan Schmidt, of St. Margaret of York Parish in Loveland.

Archbishop Schnurr added that series of commercials is an invitation to those who have drifted away for different reasons.

"In terms of why people leave for the most part it is distractions," explained Tom Peterson, of Catholics Come Home Inc. "People getting busy, getting involved in other things and slowly drifting away. We did find that about 10 percent of people who were coming home said, ‘I was divorced and I didn't know I could come back to the Catholic Church.'"

One requirement of the Catholics Come Home campaign is that the money to fund the commercials comes from the parishioners.

Collections were held during masses across the archdiocese.

"If our parishes are going to be welcoming, then we want the parishioners themselves to literally buy into it," Archbishop Schnurr added. "So, that this is my program. I am a part of this initiative. I want this initiative to happen."

Corpus Christi was one of the first dioceses to use the Catholics Come Home TV campaign and mass attendance went up 18 percent.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has taken initial data and is asking priests to keep record of church attendance while the campaign is running to see how affective it is here in Cincinnati.

Copyright 2012 WXIX. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly