National Catholic Register

Books

Come Home for Christmas

Book review of Catholics Come Home

BY Patti Armstrong

Dec. 15-28, 2013 Issue | Posted 12/21/13 at 9:25 AM

 

Catholics Come Home

God’s Extraordinary Plan for Your Life

By Tom Peterson

Image Books, 2013

156 pages, $11.75

To order: amazon.com

 

There’s no place like home, especially when home is the Catholic Church.

But many have left home without realizing what they left behind. Tom Peterson, founder and president of Catholics Come Home (CatholicsComeHome.org), a nonprofit multimedia organization dedicated to evangelization, is letting them know.

Through television advertisements on secular television, TV viewers are taken by surprise with soulful, gripping messages about the Catholic Church. At the end of each commercial is a simple, warm invitation: "Come home to the Catholic Church."

The organization ramps up ads during the Advent and Christmas seasons, in addition to Easter.

Catholics Come Home: God’s Extraordinary Plan for Your Life is the story behind the commercials and Peterson’s spiritual awakening and converting 25 years of corporate advertising experience into promoting the Catholic Church.

Peterson never technically left the Church, but on a spiritual level he was in another stratosphere. His bank account, summer home and fancy cars represented all the success he needed — until a deep spiritual experience during a retreat revealed that his scorekeeping was faulty. At that moment, Peterson gave his life fully to Jesus and began saying a prayer daily: "Jesus, help me to trust in you and do your will."

Downsizing and beginning each day with the Bible and Mass was a good start, but Peterson became impatient for more. "What is your plan for me?" he prayed to God. The answer came to him in a dream: He was supposed to produce commercials as a way to evangelize.

He first created VirtueMedia.org and produced pro-life commercials to advocate for the unborn and support pregnant women.

Catholics Come Home became the next step.

The book is more than an autobiography or a success story. It is an invitation to live the Catholic faith the way Jesus calls us: to love others to heaven. Each chapter ends with thoughts for reflection and personal challenges to get out and evangelize.

Peterson shares personal examples of planting seeds in the lives of others that led to the ultimate blossoming of souls. And he reassures readers that we just need to try, for success will come from God. "Remember, ultimately, it is our heavenly Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit who convert hearts, not you and me," he writes.

Be warned that this is an exciting read, but not an easy one. "At this time in salvation history, Jesus is calling each one of us to pick sides and choose our path," Peterson writes.

His example and enthusiastic invitation make it hard to say No.

Patti Armstrong writes from North Dakota.