“We are in the midst of a New Evangelization; and I believe this book is a signal moment in its success. This book is a grace from God. It is also a sign that will lead many folks back home to the family of God, which is the Catholic Church.” –Dr. Scott Hahn
This is not your ordinary book review. It is the ultimate insider’s look at a refreshing new book for the New Evangelization.
But what really makes this not-your-ordinary book review… is that I am the author’s daughter. I am also the author’s employee, and, in the author’s own words, his “apple that doesn’t fall far from the tree.” In addition, I am an avid reader, a writer, a speaker, and an evangelist. It is from all of these perspectives that I am privileged to review my father’s first book, Catholics Come Home: God’s Extraordinary Plan for Your Life by Tom Peterson.
I remember the earliest days of Catholics Come Home. The days when Catholics Come Home was a one-man organization (heavily aided and guided by the Holy Spirit), out of a spare bedroom in our house. Sometimes it baffles me to think of how it has grown to be an internationally renowned media apostolate, helping to invite and bring hundreds of thousands of souls home to Christ’s Catholic Church, through powerful television commercials and interactive websites.
The story of Catholics Come Home—and the man behind the curtain—is an electrifying one. Tom, my father, is just an ordinary guy. I can promise you that. But through him, and through all of us who are willing to say “Yes,” God can do amazing things. Catholics Come Home: God’s Extraordinary Plan for Your Life poignantly reminds us of this, and gives us the tools we need to embark on the adventurous mission that God has in store for each one us.
A few of my favorite things about the book:
- It’s one-two punch. Its simple brevity combined with stirring stories, statistics, and wisdom from the saints makes it a your perfect page-turner. Do you know what an amuse-bouche is? It is a bite-sized hors d’oeuvre that offers a glimpse into a chef’s approach to the art of cooking. To me, this book is a perfect amuse-bouche to the vast ‘art’ in the Church that is the work of the New Evangelization.
- It’s broad appeal. This book is for everyone. First, it offers inspiration to devout Catholics already on the journey. Every crazy story of the Holy Spirit working through moments of Tom’s personal, one-on-one evangelization gives you a boost of that evangelistic courage we could all use a little more of in our own evangelizing. But as much as it lights a fire under us practicing Catholics, it skillfully encourages and equips non-practicing or lax-practicing Catholics to take that leap of faith and see what adventure God has in store for them in His Church, making it a great gift for your friend or relative who needs a little nudge to reignite their Catholic faith.
- It’s stories. Anyone who has every heard Tom speak knows that he is a master storyteller. Crazy things happen to him and the people who cross his path. You’ll read about a car crashing into a kitchen that creates a moment for evangelization in the neighborhood street. The stories are vivid, funny, relatable and yet totally unique. You have to read them to believe them. His stories are written proof that God can have a sense of humor in His work of inviting His flock home.
- It’s humility and encouragement. Tom’s honesty and humility in painting a picture of his reversion from a car-loving, money-making, impatient and materialistic man to an ordinary advertising guy answering the call to make pro-life and Catholic media messages is both refreshing and encouraging. It’s got an “If I can do it, anyone can,” feel to it. He reminds us that you don’t need a doctorate in theology to be an evangelist—just an open, trusting, wildly courageous heart.
- It’s resources. We hear so much about the New Evangelization today. But how do we participate in the New Evangelization? Catholics Come Home reveals how the New Evangelization first and foremost begins within you, uncovering the seven secrets to finding peace, passion, purpose, and happiness in your own life, and then shows you how to give that gift to others. Tom also includes his favorite books and resources that everyone should have in their Catholic toolkit to help you grow in your knowledge of the Catholic faith and in your spiritual life.
I think you should get your hands on this book. But if you don’t want to take the daughter’s word for it, perhaps you’d be convinced by the great things that the legendary Coach Lou Holtz, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Pastor Rick Warren, Actress Roma Downey, Dr. Scott Hahn, Patrick Madrid, Dr. Peter Kreeft, and Matthew Kelly have to say about it. The back cover reads like a who’s-who in the New Evangelization. I’m sold.
If you’ve seen the famous Catholics Come Home Epic commercial (view below), you can’t help but feel proud to be Catholic when you watch it. And now, with the release of Catholics Come Home: God’s Extraordinary Plan for Your Life, we’ve got a book that makes us feel proud to be Catholic when we read it.
In the first few words of the book, Tom aptly quotes St. Ignatius of Loyola: “Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly.”
Are you ready to see what God can accomplish in you?
Not every daughter is blessed enough to have a great dad. I have an extraordinary dad, who encourages me every day to pursue God’s extraordinary plan for my life. I hope he can encourage you, too.
Please help us in our mission to assist readers to integrate their Catholic faith, family and work. Tell your family and friends about this article using both the Share and the Recommend buttons below and via email. We value your comments and encourage you to leave your thoughts below. Thank you! – The Editors