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Publication Date: 2013
Catholics Come Home: God's Extraordinary Plan for Your LifeThomas B. PetersonImage Entertainment / 2013 / Hardcover$8.89 Retail:4 Stars Out Of 5 1 Reviews
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God has something extraordinary planned for your life . . .
In our fast-paced, highly technological world, this statement might sound a bit lofty, but the lives of millions of souls who have come before us attest to this simple truth:
God has a wonderful plan in store for you.
With these words, Tom Peterson, founder and president of Catholics Come Home, a nonprofit multimedia organization dedicated to promoting Catholic evangelization, offers inspiration for believers from all walks of life, whether lapsed or practicing, to deepen their faith and draw them closer to Jesus and His Church.
In a series of moving stories and personal anecdotes, Tom relates how after rediscovering his faith, he experienced God's unfailing love, and soon found his true purpose in life. You can too! Drawing from scripture, his own struggles and discoveries, and the lives of the saints as well as ordinary individuals, the author offers seven ways to enter into a more deeply personal relationship with Jesus. These are pearls that you can share with others to illuminate the importance of the Catholic faith and open wide the door to a homecoming celebration.
"We are in the midst of a New Evangelization; and I believe this book is a signal moment in its success. It is also a sign that will lead many folks back home to the family of God, which is Catholic Church."
Dr. Scott W. Hahn, author of The Lambs Supper and Signs of Life
This books powerful message contains both a heartfelt invitation "Catholics, come home!" and an encouraging statement of an often overlooked fact "Catholics come home!" With enthusiasm, humility, and wisdom born of his own lived experience Tom Peterson lays out the salient reasons for both.
Patrick Madrid, host of the "Right Here, Right Now" show on EWTNs Global Radio Network, author of Envoy for Christ: 25 Years as a Catholic Apologist
"Catholics Come Home is a powerful sacramental, a means of grace. It is a willing, waiting taxi to take us home, to our home away from Home, the Catholic Church, the Mystical Body of Christ."
Dr. Peter Kreeft, author of Handbook of Christian Apologetics
"The mission of Tom Peterson and Catholics Come Home to bring souls home to Jesus and the church is critically important during this challenging time in our history. I fully support this new evangelization project."
Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life
"Catholics Come Home inspires each of us to share God's love with others, in order to help change the world for the better, for eternity!"
- Roma Downey, actress and co-producer of the History Channel series The Bible
"[Tom Peterson] has a statistically verifiable program of bringing people back to the Church."
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York
"I highly recommend Catholics Come Home, no matter what your faith background or where you are on your spiritual journey. This book is destined to be a classic. What Tom and Catholics Come Home have done for Catholicism is far above and beyond the call of duty. You cant take your money to heaven with you, but you can take your children!"
-Coach Lou Holtz
"This is an important book at an important time. Readers need to come home to Catholics Come Home."
-Michael Coren, Author & broadcaster
Reader of Catholics Come Home book, below. His amazing testimonial:
First, I want to say thank you for putting pen to paper in a way that was beyond compression! I literally could not stop reading your book until it was over, and even then I was wanting more! Well done sir!
I lost my Faith roughly 25 years ago. Father Stan was comforting me about losing my high school sweetheart. I was suddenly alone. Father Stan said to me, "It was God's will." I couldn't understand that, I couldn't accept it. I got mad and said to hell with God and my family and moved to Vancouver never to look back.
5 years ago, I was hit by a car as I crossed the street on my way to work. I didn't know it, but that day, my life changed. I was okay, no broken bones, nothing damaged internally. However, what I didn't know until several months later was while in the hospital, I managed to contract MSRA, an infection in my legs that left me quarantined from almost all of society. My only companions during this time were nurses covered from head to toe in plastic and face masks. My friends, gone. My work, gone. Honestly, I felt very much alone in this world. Then the infection turned for the worse, the pain was unbearable that I ended up on Morphine in order to just move my legs. Honestly, I lay in a hospital or in bed, and I cursed and swore at God and hated every moment of being alive. I blamed God for not just killing me; instead he had to torture me. I spent nights in tears cursing God and my heritage; I was raised as a traditional Italian Catholic. I remember those nights, cursing God and Jesus like they were yesterday. I remember I was in so much pain and being all alone I was sad and upset. Even today I still teary eyed thinking that I could have been full of so much hate for God and Jesus. Fifteen months later, my legs healed, and I was finally able to start looking for work again. I still felt bitter towards God for leaving me all alone in this world.
What changed? In the fall of 2012, I started to see the Catholics Come Home commercials on TV. At first I was not interested or the least bit curious about getting back to my Faith. Then at Christmas something "snapped." I don't know what it was, but I knew, I knew that I had to come back to God. I saw several of these ads on TV and inside something was stirring in my soul. In February I managed the courage to purchase the Catholics Come Home digital book, and since then, I have not been able to put the Gospel down. First thing I did, I prayed for forgiveness at my foolishness for what happened after the car accident. I begged for mercy, I cried I was so ashamed and so sorry for bringing so much pain to God and Jesus. I pray every morning and every night, and when I can remember, mid-day as well. I have read the book Catholics Come Home, then I read "Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence" and that's when everything lit up. I understood what Father Stan was trying to tell me all those years ago. I understood what and why the car accident. The pain and suffering. I will admit, I cried. I cried and begged for forgiveness for not understanding and being so foolish. I have been a hermit for over 5 years, meeting new people is something of a challenge for me. But I am thankful, that one day very soon; I will be in mass again. (Hopefully very very soon!)
Now you know my story. I think if Catholics Come Home had not been there, I probably would have continued to drift and disappear.
From the Hardcover edition.
JeanieKearney, NEAge: 25-34Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Nice addition to a Catholic's shelfMarch 22, 2013JeanieKearney, NEAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 1Meets Expectations: 3This was the "other" book I should've picked when I picked the one I'd just as soon forget. I'm glad this one was still available - it's a winner by comparison.
It's a breezy read that one can finish in a matter of hours, easy. I couldn't get this review to you fast enough, but Blogging for Books has a waiting period! I understand, but the waiting period's over: I requested the book on the 13th, not the 18th as my own recent e-mail from them states. Read on to clear up (some) confusion...
So you know I like to see who wrote blurbs for the books I read. In this case? Peter Kreeft, for one! And in the afterword, Peterson cites Kreeft's book Jesus Shock - one of the books available for "free" (not counting shipping) from the same source that gave me Holiness Revolution and my parish Rediscover Catholicism.
Remember how Sister told me the day of the parish council meeting that she wanted me to address "the new evangelization"? I got another taste of it in the foreword of this book, written by Scott Hahn. In fact the phrase is in the first sentence of it. He describes "the new evangelization" but forgive me; I still don't feel the need to go into it here.
But I do feel the need to relate this Pope Benedict XVI quote from the book, that is so similar to one I've shared with you from Pope John Paul II. It's such a great reminder:
"If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful, and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the greatest potential of human existence truly revealed."
When I opened the book for the first time I'd planned to watch American Idol live about an hour from then. I changed my mind pretty quickly. I did however, a little later in the evening, watch the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist represent the Faith on GSN's American Bible Challenge. What a treat! And you know what? I saw commercial for Catholics Come Home, Peterson's organization, during the show. I'm not kidding. Maybe you've seen the commercials too?
The subtitle of the book may be a little misleading, to get people to check it out. Doesn't the title indicate this will be a sort of self-help book? This book's start was remarkably similar to all of Embracing Obscurity, which, okay, I never did review. In Catholics Come Home, Peterson tells the story of his own conversion and subsequent opportunities to evangelize, then sort of pumps the reader up to do some evangelizing of his or her own.
I don't know about you but I feel like the situation's totally hopeless, that there are too many minds that won't change anyway from what would be feeble efforts to witness. It seems like no one is a friend to the Faith these days, and I'm just thinking about what I read on Twitter.
I do have an acquaintance I know personally who has no shame, knowing I'm Catholic, expressing her views on the Faith. One time, for example, she hit me with numerous bizarre events that she claims happened in the Church's history. I know these things never happened, but what kind of retort is that? I'd never even heard of anything she was talking about. Not that she could tell me (probably, anyway), where she'd seen or heard such strange things. I don't dare ask her again.
I thought of this friend (yes, she is a friend) when Peterson gave this suggestion in an end-of-chapter "Thoughts for Reflection." (A good reason for me not to skip these, as is always my impulse!) Says Peterson:
"Here's how it goes: 'With regard to Jesus's teachings on [the sanctity of life, contraception, traditional marriage, going to a priest for Confession], I know how you feel. In fact, I [many people I know] felt the same way at one time. But after studying the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I found that Jesus's teaching on that subject makes perfect sense. Here's why....'" (Brackets and italics are Peterson's.)
I like this script and how Peterson says "Jesus's teaching" as opposed to "Church teaching," which I know my friend would automatically dismiss. So now all you and I have to do is know the Faith. Ha.
What really got me jumping out of my skin in Peterson's book, though, was his Catholic Evangelization Tool Kit in the appendix.The "kit" includes books (naturally), quotes and prayers. The first prayer Peterson lists is my own favorite and go-to prayer: the Memorare.
I was happy to see I've read and/or owned many of the books listed. I've seen some of them at my parents', and some I recognize as being on the parish library shelf. One of the books? Rediscover Catholicism! And some others? Published by - *gasp* - TAN Books?! (Reminder: It's not me but my pastor that questions the books from that publisher.)
Some of the books are so appealing I almost didn't want to read the list too carefully, for fear I'd feel overwhelmed with wanting to read them all. It makes me want to keep Catholics Come Home on my own shelf, for reference. And I might be able to: I got a second copy from Blogging for Books today. I made the UPS guy laugh when I stared at the package and said, "Thanks. I don't know what it is, but...thanks!" I've asked Blogging for Books what to do. I hope I'm told I can keep the second copy too, but in that case I'd want to give it to my dad or the acquaintance who devoured gods at war. (She's Catholic too.) I will at least lend it to her tonight, now that this review is written.
I suppose I could give one copy to each and just not donate any to the library. Or I could photocopy the list of books from the appendix, like my acquaintance did with gods at war.
In any case, you won't go wrong having this book on your own shelf.
Read Chapter One
I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.