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Diocese wants lapsed Catholics back

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend is planning to use television commercials and billboards to draw lapsed churchgoers back to Mass.

Bishop Kevin Rhoades said he hopes the local campaign – coinciding with a similar national campaign – will stir people and inspire some to return to religious practice. Rhoades says only about 30 percent of local Catholics attend Mass.

Rhoades learned about the initiative from other bishops and decided to use it in northern Indiana. Other dioceses around the country already have run ads featuring Catholics talking about why they returned to the church.

The ads will start airing in northern Indiana on Dec. 17 and continue through the end of January.

Rhoades said the campaign will cost the diocese about $120,000.