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The reading from the Letter of James encourages us to show impartiality toward all who enter the assembly to worship. Officials of the Archdiocese of Chicago, concerned that two-thirds of area Catholics are not entering the assembly to attend Mass on a regular basis, will unveil a "Catholics Come Home" evangelization program this coming holiday season that will include a blitz of TV advertising. The exact number of ads has not been settled on, but they could reach 2,000 or more, meaning the average TV viewer in the Chicago area might see them 25 times during their five-and-a-half-week run, church officials said. The time is right for this type of evangelization effort because "we see a larger number of people inactive in their faith," said Nancy Polacek, the point person on Catholics Come Home for the archdiocese. The campaign ran last year in Phoenix, Arizona and Corpus Christi, Texas and results were considered impressive. "Our study indicated a 12-percent increase [in Sunday Mass attendance] across the board," said Ryan Hanning, coordinator of adult evangelization for the Diocese of Phoenix. Source: An article by ChicagoCatholicNews.comRestricted
We hear in this Sunday’s first reading of the Lord’s frustration with the stubbornness of his “stiff-necked” people in turning away from their God. The stubbornness of nicotine addiction makes it hard to turn away from the smoking habit, but a series of graphic, deliberately shocking anti-tobacco ads has helped 100,000 Americans kick the habit, researchers say.And an estimated 1.6 million people at least tried to quit smoking after seeing the "first national mass-media anti-smoking initiative to be funded by the U.S. government," according to researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).The 2012 three-month “Tips” campaign reached nearly 80 percent of smokers, the CDC team said in a report published Monday in the Lancet medical journal. “The Tips campaign seems to have resulted in millions of non-smokers talking to smokers about quitting and getting help,” the CDC researchers wrote.Before the campaign started, 31 percent of smokers said they had tried to quit for at least one day in the previous three months. This went up to nearly 35 percent after the campaign. And 13 percent said they succeeded.“We found over a million and half smokers made quit attempts because of the campaign,” said Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, who directed the study. “This study shows that we save a year of life for less than $200. That makes it one of the most cost-effective prevention efforts.”Homily hint: Anti-smoking campaigns have made a difference, but the effort must be continued as each new generation comes of age and tobacco marketers continue to seek new customers. Encourage a loved one who struggles with the habit; walk with them in the journey from bondage to freedom—the Exodus journey each of us lives in our own way as we seek freedom from harmful habits. Source: An article by Maggie Fox for NBC NewsRestricted