I discovered CatholicsComeHome.org three years ago when I was converting to Catholicism. The videos they produce are excellent overviews of the faith, moving and produced at the highest level of professionalism. They are really, really good and officially some of my favorites – occupying top slots on my video favorites page.
Who are these people? I read the About Us information and learned a little about their mission. Tom Peterson’s new book Catholics Come Home: God’s Extraordinary Plan for Your Life fills-in the complete story.
Author Peterson, a “cradle Catholic,” was a successful businessman with material wealth but distant from his faith. Looking for answers, he went to a retreat during which the Holy Spirit pointed him in a new direction. It was a life-changing conversion experience. First, live simpler. Second, use his media skills for the Church. The Catholics Come Home and Virtue Media (pro-life) lay apostolates were born. Later, Tom also founded EncouragePriests.org to support and encourage vocations.
Today there are so many people who are lost and broken. Helping these souls find their way back home is not only a duty; it is an act of mercy. It means doing what you can do to bring a soul back into a state of grace. This will not require preaching on street corners or confronting notorious sinners. Instead, I’m hoping this book will help demonstrate how the right word or the right action at the right time can be decisive in helping your relatives, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and even strangers find their way home. This book also suggests ways to circumvent roadblocks and overcome challenges that lie ahead of you in your apostolic mission to get to heaven and help bring as many people with you as apossible.
This book is about Tom’s experience, the success of Catholics Come Home, the New Evangelization and – most important of all – our individual roles. The book is upbeat and encouraging, with many interesting details and tips. Pope Paul XVI reminded us that “the Church exists in order to evangelize” and Tom tells us how to begin strengthening our own faith and develop basic apologetic skills to fulfill our baptismal role of evangelist.
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few” (Luke 10:2). About 24% of Americans are baptized Catholics, but only 1 in 4 regularly practice their faith. Mass attendance is down 71% from 1965 hitting a low of only 17% in 2008. These lost sheep need you. My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins (James 5:19-20).
This is a medium sized book, roughly 5×8″ at 158 pages. It is divided into 7 chapters, structured thus:
- Forward by Dr. Scott W. Hahn
- God’s Extraordinary Plan for You
- Chapter 1: Downsize and Simplify
- Chapter 2: Don’t Look Back
- Chapter 3: Fast Before You Feast
- Chapter 4: Ask, Seek, Knock
- Chapter 5: Embrace the Mystery, Discover the Adventure
- Chapter 6: Love Somebody to Heaven
- Chapter 7: Home for Good
The Appendix has 11 pages of book recommendations, 2 pages of “wisdom,” 9 pages of “powerful prayers” and a 2 page list of organizations of interest to the budding apologist.
I recommend this book for faithful Catholics wondering if they are called to do more or who see others near them (i.e. “neighbors”) who are lost and hurting. You do not need a degree in theology nor do you need to be ordained to be effective, just the will and a little preparation.
Full Disclosure: This book was provided to me at no charge by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for review. They seek only my honest, real opinion and that is what I give!