.- As Christmas quickly approaches, the Diocese of Dallas has launched a campaign to bring lapsed Catholics back into the Church. One part of the outreach involves bus ads with the message: “Catholics come home for Christmas.”
“When I travel around the diocese, I have so many people tell me that their wife or husband or parents or kids have abandoned their church or faith,” Bishop Kevin Farrell explained to the Dallas Morning News on Sunday. “They're always asking me what we can do about it.”
The recent bus ads are part of the larger Catholics Come Home for Christmas campaign which “is an appeal from the Diocese of Dallas” to “welcome all inactive Catholics to return to the Faith,” the diocesan website says.
“No matter if you've been away from the Church for only a brief period of time or for many years, the important thing that I want you to know is that all of us are praying that during this special time of the year, this Christmas season, you will think about coming home to the Catholic Church,” Bishop Farrell said in a video message.
“I hope you will fondly remember the church you grew up in, the church you made your first communion in or confirmation,” continued Bishop Farrell. “Perhaps you will think of your friends and family members who attended the same Catholic school with you or maybe you just remember what it was like to be part of a parish community who praise God together and were strengthened in faith through the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Mass.”
The Bishop of Dallas also acknowledged that people may have left the Church because they were hurt. “ I hope that whatever the hurt, the anger or the disinterest you experienced in leaving the Church can be healed so that you can once again know the comfort, the joy, the sense of belonging that worshiping with your family, your friends and neighbors can bring,” the bishop said in his video.
“As we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, we invite you to join us at any one of more than 70 parishes to welcome the light of the world, Who has saved us,” Bishop Farrell concluded.
The bus advertisements in Dallas have been financially supported by the Knight of Columbus as well as private donors who have worked to put the ads on 13 Dallas Area Rapid Transit buses. The ads cost $359 each and will run through Dec. 27.
To view the Come Home for Christmas video, please visit, http://www.cathdal.org/default.asp?contentID=336.