Tom Peterson, founder and president of Catholics Come Home will certainly be (if he is not already) a legend among those taking part in the New Evangelization. When I first the very beautiful and extremely moving Catholic Come Home commercials, I was filled with a sense of awe for the religion that I already loved. I was hoping for more of that when I had the opportunity to read “Catholics Come Home: God’s Extraordinary Plan for Your Life.” Well, I may have set the bar too high with regards to expectations because I expected more than what this book’s 158 pages contained. Don’t get me wrong, the book is still worth a read. I will warn you, however, that most of the meat is found in the second half of the book (at least for readers who want to learn how to help catalyze the conversion of another individual).
The first portion of the book is dedicated to some of Peterson’s history and conversion from a business-minded casual Catholic to the evangelizing genius he is today. He also explains some of the history to Catholics Come Home and the series of events that started it all. I was hoping for a conversion like that of Saint Paul or, at least, a chance meeting with someone as awesome as Mother Theresa that ultimately led to a conversion of someone as cool as huge as Peterson. What I got, however, was something far more ordinary. The series of events that led to his conversion simply sounded too simple and ordinary to be true…and yet I found that my own road toward an authentic Catholic life had a lot in common with Peterson’s road. Even more spectacular is the fact that this kind of conversion is at our fingertips if we know where to start and where to turn to whenever we hit a road block.
With that said, the second portion of this book is a survival guide for Catholics who feel the call to evangelize their faith and welcome sheep back into the fold. Peterson lays out various tactics in a manner that will help anyone, from any background to not only help others swim the Tiber but also defend Catholicism as well. Using various stories from his own experiences, Peterson demonstrates how even the smallest action can ultimately expand God’s kingdom here on earth. This can be as simple as saying, “I’m blessed” instead of “fine” whenever someone asks you how you are doing. It can be as simple as praying for others. Peterson lays out a variety of strategies we can employ to help straying sheep come home, and one (or more) of these strategies will certainly appeal to you.
Overall, this book is a pretty good manual for individuals who need some inspiration before attempting to help others come home. It also contains plenty of easy -to-follow pointers for people wishing to strengthen their faith, pointers that can be implemented into even the busiest of lives. I would recommend this book to Catholics whose faith has grown lukewarm and to anyone out there who not only wishes to strengthen their faith, but the faith of others as well.
I was offered a free copy of Peterson’s “Catholics Come Home: God’s Extraordinary Plan for Your Life” for review. The opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are my own.