Lapsed Catholics will be wooed as never before later this year when the church in Australia launches Catholics Come Home, a media campaign credited with lifting mass attendances in the US by up to 17 per cent.
Archbishop of Sydney George Pell is sending a team to Chicago to study and replicate the program, which tells non-practising Catholics: “There is a big family that loves you and misses you. It’s a wonderful adventure – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain – and we say welcome home.”
The television advertisements, Facebook entries and tweets also discuss the church’s role in schools, universities, health care and charitable works. “Progress has been good in turning around mass attendances so I’m sending over a small team to see what it might do for the church in Australia,” Pell says.