The Archdiocese of Washington is kicking off a major initiative this Lent to invite back those who have drifted away from the church, with a YouTube video invitation from Archbishop Wuerl plus 50,000 invitations available at all 140 parishes for parishioners to give to friends, neighbors or others who may miss being part of the Catholic community.
“Lent, as we prepare for Easter and reflect on what our faith means to us, is a time to invite others who are not at Mass any more to rejoin our Church family,” Archbishop Wuerl said in explaining the initiative.
The “Longing for Something? Maybe it’s God” campaign is being promoted through the video invitation recorded by Archbishop Wuerl (see above), a website (www.Maybe-its-God.org), blog about faith (to launch on Ash Wednesday), hundreds of Metro ads, radio ads, a billboard and more. Ads are running in 220 Metro cars and over 125 buses in Washington, DC and Maryland starting the week of March 1, along with radio ads and a huge billboard on Route 301 in Charles County. The ads read, “Longing for Something? Maybe it’s God” and encourage Catholics to find out more at www.Maybe-its-God.org.
The www.Maybe-its-God.org website includes the video and printable invitation (in English and Spanish), blog and a pastoral letter by Archbishop Wuerl, Belonging to God’s Family. In it he tells Catholics “Each one of us knows someone, perhaps many, who have simply drifted away from the practice of the faith…To be a Catholic is to share the joy of our faith with them by inviting them once again to reconnect with their Church and with the life-giving sacraments.”
Lent, the 40-day penitential period before Easter (April 12 this year) and the celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead, was chosen for the campaign because it is a time when Catholics place an extra focus on reflecting on what their faith means to them. The initiative follows a highly successful campaign in past years to invite people back to confession, which now is being replicated in dioceses across the nation.
The Archdiocese of Washington is home to 580,000 Catholics living in Washington, DC and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.