WASHINGTON (November 24, 1998)--The U.S. Bishops' Subcommittee on the Millennium will proclaim a message of reconciliation in newspapers nationwide, November 29, the first Sunday of Advent.
The message, "If you think you can't make it right, you're wrong," is part of the Bishops' public service advertising campaign launched on television and radio earlier this year.
The newspaper part of the campaign is sponsored by the bishops' Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC), which is funded by an annual collection in parishes across the country, and the Our Sunday Visitor Institute, a Catholic foundation based in Huntington, Indiana.
The clean, uncluttered ads rely on a simple illustration to stress that reconciling people does not have to be complicated. For example, an ad with a Band-Aid over a broken heart states, "Heal a broken relationship." A second ad of two paper cutouts of people clipped together states, "Reconnect with someone you love." The third, with two cans connected with a long string, states, "Reopen a line of communication."
The ads will run November 29, in eight daily newspapers, including the Chicago Sun Times, Detroit Free Press, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, The New York Times, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Washington Post and Houston Chronicle.
Ads also will run in five Catholic weeklies, including America Magazine, Commonweal, Our Sunday Visitor, the National Catholic Reporter and the National Catholic Register.
The Bishops stress reconciliation at the start of the liturgical year, which begins the first Sunday of Advent, because Pope John Paul II heralded it as a key theme leading up to the start of the Third Millennium and Jubilee 2000.
"There may be no more vital message as we move toward the year 2000," said Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, newly-elected president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and former head of the Millennium Subcommittee. "Warring countries, alienated families and quarreling friends tear at our 20th century society. We start on the road to peace when we heal relationships, reconnect with loved ones and keep lines of communication open."
He noted that the pope in his 1994 apostolic exhortation,On the Coming of the Third Millennium said that the "joy of every jubilee is above all a joy based upon the forgiveness of sins, the joy of conversion," which "takes place in the heart of each person, extends to the believing community, and then reaches to the whole of humanity."
The Millennium subcommittee also will issue a 14-page reflection on forgiveness and reconciliation in December, titled "Jubilee 2000: A Year of the Lord's Favor."
The overall campaign also includes three 30-second TV announcements, three 15-second TV announcements, one 60-second TV announcement and three 30-second radio announcements.
The CCC created the messages to encourage people of all faiths to exercise their power to forgive.
"Most people have someone in their lives with whom they've had an argument, misunderstanding, or lack of communication that has led to a falling out," said Patricia Ryan Garcia, Director of Distribution for the CCC and coordinator of the campaign. "For some it may be a parent, for others a sibling, for still others a longtime friend. This effort is designed to demonstrate the costs of not 'making it right' and show what's possible if you just take action."
The "Reconciliation" campaign was created pro bono by Saatchi & Saatchi for the Catholic Communication Campaign of the U.S. Catholic Conference. Saatchi & Saatchi, one of the world's leading global ad agency networks, has a long history in public service and is known for developing world-changing ideas. The CCC produces and distributes a variety of media projects including TV documentaries that examine spiritual themes, Christmas and Easter specials, and public service campaigns about issues of national importance.