Catholic Information Service
The Catholic Information Service promotes four kinds of assistance to those seeking answers to questions about the Catholic religion: advertisements in large-circulation Sunday supplements of secular newspapers; free distribution of religious pamphlets to those answering the ads; a correspondence course on the basic beliefs of Catholics; and individual responses to those who seek confidential counsel.
In April 1969, the board of directors voted to move the correspondence phase of the Catholic Advertising Program, which had operated in St. Louis, Missouri, since 1948, to the new Supreme Office headquarters building in New Haven. Thus the full facilities of the various departments and the manpower in the Supreme Office are in a better position to contribute to the program. The Catholic Advertising Program can be reached by writing to:
The Catholic Information Service
It is funded by the Knights of Columbus Charities Inc., and by a semiannual membership assessment of 40¢. Many of the pamphlets sent to respondents have been and are being revised continually. New art work has been developed and a completely new home-study course is being sent to those who request it. This course is somewhat different from other inquiry courses. It is an informal reading course. Ten pamphlets have been selected as the basic texts for the course. These cover, in a general way, the fundamental beliefs of Catholicism. Along with the texts (two sent with each mailing) comes a series of "optional choice" questions to reinforce the reader's knowledge of the material learned through reading the texts.
The Catholic Advertising Program was founded, financed, promoted and has at all times been directed by the Knights of Columbus. It has a glorious history and continues to be most highly commended by bishops, priests and its beneficiaries, those who learn about the Faith.
It is impossible to measure the full results of this great program since its inception in January of 1948. Impressive statistics showing over 8 million inquiries and more than 750,000 enrollments in the home study courses over the years indicate the wide interest and popularity of the program. But neither these results nor the generous financial contributions made by the Order for its support can tell the whole story of its worth. How many were led to the Church through reading the pamphlets and studying the courses never will be known. Nor can statistics ever measure how much prejudice and misunderstanding was overcome through the program's influence.
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