We were blessed with a large crowd this past Tuesday night to hear VirtueMedia.org, CatholicsComeHome.org and EncouragePriests.org founder Tom Peterson give an inspiring talk titled “Jesus is recruiting Saints…Apply Now!” Tom weaved a number of relative personal stories and experiences in with Church teaching and scripture to describe our call to share our faith with others and pursue lives of holiness. Tom described a powerful experience he had at a Catholic men’s retreat 13 years ago and the subsequent change in his life that led him from a money focused life and growing advertising business to the launch of three of the most successful Catholic media focused ministries in the world. Virtue Media has helped saved thousands of babies from abortion through compelling TV ads. Catholics Come Home is helping to draw thousands of Catholics back to the Church around the world through the airing of powerful and well produced TV commercials. Finally, his newest ministry is called EncouragePriests.org which will officially launch on Father’s Day this year. This needed ministry will focus on helping lay people support our priests around the world. Here are a few excerpts from Tom’s talk:
- “Our culture is distracted by the secular noise of the world. One of the biggest cultural weapons has been the media. In fact, by the time the average American reaches the age of 75, they will have spent 14 years of their lives watching TV and four years watching commercials.”
- “So often we are tempted and lured to invest our time, talent and finances in less important things of this world, rather than the greater good that conforms with God’s will.”
- “Pope John Paul II spent a good part of his pontificate reminding us to go deeper in our faith, keeping our focus on Jesus, the greater good…our best investment.”
- “Yet, daily, all of us are tempted to avert our gaze back to our own financial security, short-term comforts, avoiding sacrifice, and doing our own will.”
- “In his book Jesus-Shock, Dr. Peter Kreeft teaches: Our culture has filled our heads, but emptied our hearts, stuffed our wallets, but starves our wonder. It has fed our thirst for facts, but not our meaning for mystery. It produces ‘nice’ people, not heroes!”
- “At this time in salvation history, Jesus calls each of us to pick sides…God’s will or our will, passionate faith or secular mediocrity.”
- “God told St. Catherine of Sienna: ‘Think of Me, and I will think of you!”
- “The spiritual battle is getting tougher. St. Paul said the war is not of flesh and blood, but principalities and powers.”
- “We are called through Baptism to leave a legacy of faith, hope and love…
- “God, our loving Father, calls us to live holier lives, and to reach out to the under-churched and un-churched for the salvation of souls today, that will affect generations for hundreds of years to come.”
- “Consider Gandhi’s famous quote: If more of you Christians lived like your Christ, the whole world would be Christian.”
- “The #1 TV show in America in the 1950’s was Archbishop Fulton Sheen. He said. ‘The plague that is sweeping over our nation is not a plague of intolerance, but a plague of tolerance…a tolerance of untruth, a tolerance of secularism, a tolerance of death, a tolerance of apathy!” Consider this:
- Most of America sits silently as 53 million babies are aborted.
- Many remain silent as the Sacrament of Marriage crumbles.
- Too often we remain silent when forces try erasing God from our Nation, founded upon God.”
- “Jesus is recruiting Saints…and I encourage you to apply now!!!”
We also are grateful for Father Henry’s opening prayer and introductory words. We are lucky to have Fr. Henry and appreciate his support for our ministry.