.- Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell and the forty-four bishops of Australia have invited the head of the successful media effort Catholics Come Home to bring the outreach program to their country. In the Diocese of Phoenix, the initiative has already brought some 92,000 Catholics back into the Church.
Tom Peterson, founder and president of CatholicsComeHome.org (CCH), will present the evangelization outreach program to key religious leaders and lay media specialists from the various dioceses in Australia. According to a press release from the group, Australian bishops were impressed by the results of the CCH television outreach in the United States and are considering implementing the campaign in Australia.
Peterson was also invited to present the keynote speech at the Australian National Catholic Media Congress, where he will address the communications directors and media ministries of all dioceses. He will also make a presentation at the Plenary Meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops.
More than twelve diocese and archdioceses in the U.S. plan to launch CCH television and web campaigns in Advent of 2009 or Lent of 2010. They include Chicago, Atlanta, Omaha, Charlotte, Providence, Green Bay, Rockford, Colorado Springs, Lincoln and others.
Bishop of Phoenix Thomas Olmsted reported that as many as 92,000 inactive Catholics and converts returned to the Church in the diocese in the months following their campaign. The Diocese of Corpus Christi reported a 40 percent increase during Easter Masses at key parishes after a bilingual CCH campaign.