| || ||
Spreading the Faith with Audio Pamphlets | The Story of Lighthouse Catholic
Media | IgnatiusInsight.com | August 20, 2006
The church pamphlet rack was, for many years, a staple of
Catholic houses of worship. Lighthouse Catholic Media president Terry Barber
is bringing pamphlet racks back -- with a twist -- as audio CDs in a custom
display stand placed at the back of the church.
His brainstorm is definitely meeting a need, Barber says,
because orders have increased 40 percent a month for six months and counting.
"It's just out of control. We're talking almost 75,000 CDs a
month," says Barber." I believe Lighthouse is reaching a market of Catholics
that traditional publishing fails to touch. We're reaching the rank-and-file
Catholic right in the back of the church where they're looking for answers to
questions about the Catholic faith."
A parish sets up the display, which is self-funding: those
who take a CD are asked to place a $3 donation in the box, Barber said.
Lighthouse Catholic Media replaces the CDs as needed.
Why is it working so well?
"In general, Americans
probably don't read as much as they should. But, let's face it, we're in our
car a lot, listening to CDs," Barber says. Because the program is self-funding,
there is minimal paperwork, cost, or hassle for the parish, and the CDs reach
busy people who want to learn more about their faith, but don't know how to squeeze
another thing into their busy schedules.
"We're solving a problem
most parishes know: How do we do Catholic adult formation when most
parishioners can't come to the classes? Answer, we bring the classes to them.
Our Lighthouse program has something for moms, dads, and the kids. When Sunday
comes, they can go pick up a CD at the back of the church."
Barber says the response to
the CDs has been overwhelmingly positive. The Lighthouse website has received
hundreds of encouraging e-mails from around the country.
One letter from a listener
in Michigan reads, "I was in such doubt about the Eucharist and there you were
with the answer. I have listened to the CD by Dr. Scott Hahn called The
Fourth Cup over and over again. Its effect has been unbelievable. I believe! Now the consecration has become so
beautiful to me because I know what's happening."
One Catholic mom, Yvette,
relates how her family has responded to the Lighthouse CD she picked up at
church: "I was driving my three teenagers, two boys and a girl (ages 13-17),
back from school and put in Fr. Calloway's conversion story CD. I was amazed
at how transfixed the kids became. We even got home and parked in the garage
but no one got out of the car. Twenty minutes later my husband came out to ask
us what we were doing. The next morning when we got back into the car to go to
school, my daughter, who usually fights me over the radio, said, 'Mom, quick!
Put that CD back on so we can hear the rest of his story before we get to
John from Haymarket Virginia
relates that the CDs have given him, "the strength to face my weaknesses and
remind me of the Covenant I have with my Lord Jesus Christ." Daniel in Tulsa
Oklahoma, who holds a master's degree in theology, writes to relate how the Lighthouse
CDs have enriched his faith "tremendously" and how he now shares the fruits of
these presentations with others.
Listener's from Illinois,
California, Minnesota, Wisconsin New Jersey, Maryland, Florida, Ohio, New York,
Texas, Indiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and even Alberta Canada have also
written with inspiring stories of conversions to Catholicism, changed lives and
Since its inception in 2005, Lighthouse Catholic Media has also
received an impressive stream of Episcopal endorsements including Bishop
Weigand of Sacramento, Bishop Carmody of Corpus Christi, and Francis Cardinal
George who has recommended the program to all the pastors of the Archdiocese of
"We know from experience that people share these CDs," says
Barber, "and that's how we hope to reach the 'second largest denomination in
America,' namely, fallen away Catholics. We're like Pepsi Cola, we want to
give them a taste of their faith."
Since founding Saint Joseph Communications, Inc., in 1979, Barber
has been selling Catholic audio retail. But the innovation of the display has
had a mind-boggling effect, he says. During March 2006 alone, Lighthouse Media
shipped over 70,000 CDs to nearly 500 parishes.
For more information about setting up a Lighthouse display
at your church, go to the Lighthouse Media website
or to order the CDs or DVDs individually, go to the Saint Joseph Communications website. Included are such topics
as Which Came First, the Bible or the Church and Anger and Forgiveness,
as well as talks by such luminaries as Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Mother
Theresa of Calcutta, and best-selling author Dr. Scott Hahn.
Related IgnatiusInsight.com Articles:
Liturgy, Catechesis, and Conversion | Barbara Morgan
Understanding The Hierarchy of Truths | Douglas Bushman, STL
Evangelization 101: A Short Guide to Sharing the Gospel
| Carl E. Olson
Discovering the New Faithful | An interview with Colleen Carroll Campbell
Evangelizing With Love, Beauty and Reason | An Interview with Joseph Pearce
Approaching the Sacred Scriptures | Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch
the Insight Scoop Blog and read the latest posts and comments by
IgnatiusInsight.com staff and readers about current events, controversies,
and news in the Church!
| || || |