Many college football fans this week have no doubt seen former Notre Dame football coach, Lou Holtz, 75, in a commercial launched by Catholics Come Home, an organization that is guided by Catholic bishops, prominent theologians, and Catholic business executives. The group works with Catholic dioceses to lead people into the Church and is part of the Church’s new evangelization campaign.
Holtz, who was tapped by Tom Peterson, founder of Catholics Come Home, delivers a half-time “pep-talk” during the 30-second ad, in which he urges viewers to stay focused on faith, prayer, and strength through God’s Word and the sacraments.
“Faith is not a spectator’s sport; it must be lived… it’s interactive,” said Peterson in a press release. “We’re trying a creative game plan, with the goal of winning loyal fans for Jesus and the Church.”
According to Peterson, Catholics Come Home has thus far been invited into 30 American dioceses, resulting in 300,000 individuals returning to or joining the Church.
Holtz is happy to advocate for the Church he loves. In September, he told the National Catholic Register that the Catholic nuns who taught him, ironically The Sisters of Notre Dame, made a significant difference in his life.
“This was due to the fact that they encouraged you always to make sure that God is the focus of your life, and they didn’t allow you to do anything except to the very best of your ability.”
Holtz said, “I used to pray that God would make me a great athlete, and he never did. Yet he put me in the coaching profession, where I’ve experienced 45 years of being involved in great games and competitiveness and having a positive influence on other people’s lives.”
Holtz added that he follows three rules in life. “Do the right thing, do the best you can, and always show people you care,” he said.
Holtz also espouses a philosophy of personal responsibility for one’s choices.
“If you choose to do drugs, drop out of school, join a gang, or have five children out of wedlock, you’re choosing to end up in prison or poverty, and that is not a result of choices I made, but of choices you made,” he said. “We need to get back to holding people accountable for their choices, and that includes people in the Catholic Church.”
The ad featuring Holtz will finish its run on Monday evening during the BCS National Championship, featuring Notre Dame vs. Alabama.