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THANK YOU for coming here to find out more! Below the donation section is a bunch of information about Holy Owned and Operated, Beth, Kristofer, and our Advisory Panel (We think you know them!). Please reply to your email or use the special contact form below to reach us with ANY questions. God bless you!

All donations to Holy Owned and Operated are tax deductible. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Thank you for considering donating to Holy Owned and Operated. This is what we're relying on now to meet the basic operating costs of Holy Owned and Operated. The Hoo 100 Donation Program is where the rubber meets the road. While the HOO 100 Program is founded on the strength of our $100 donations and we absolutely depend on those for our stability in this uncertain world, there are larger amounts and levels of participation that you can choose. Each has a separate description of the benefits to you and the impact to The Church that level of donation will have.

If you would like to donate regularly but prefer different timing (quarterly or annually, for example), please contact us and we will make those personal arrangements for you. Thank you!

For recurring monthly donations in an amount less than $100, please DONATE HERE, or you can click on HOOt below.

If you would like to make a one-time donation of s custom amount you choose, you can do that here: DONATE ONCE, or you can click on HOOt below.

We add all donors to our family prayer book and pray intentionally for you in perpetuity every night during our family prayer time. Thank you so much for your consideration and generosity!

In addition to your recept for your donation, you will receive the necessary information at the end of each year outlining your total donations and including our tax identification number. These are also available at anytime when you request them.

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The HOO 100 so far…

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Help our little organization every month in a big way with a tax deductible, HOO 100 recurring monthly donation that helps us maintain stability and predictability while we are “Helping Anyone Grow in Their Catholic Faith.” Thank you!

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Your browser should show a little lock near the address bar, showing that our site is secure with SSL encryption technology. You can also tell that we are secure because our address starts with "https://". Most likely your credit card company would deny the charge if we did not have the appropriate security features in place.

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Other Donation Methods

With Cash

If you live local to Holy Owned and Operated in the Central Texas area, we are glad to facilitate your cash donation. Please contact us through the form below and we can arrange to have a representative pickup your donation at your convenience, with a receipt.

By Check

Many donors prefer sending a check regularly, and we are glad to help you with that. You can send a check to the following address, made payable to Holy Owned and Operated:

601 South Gordon Street
Bryan, Texas 77802

Be sure to put “HOO 100” in the memo. Consider setting up automatic check writing through the bill pay functionwith your bank. We’ll also let you know when we have ACH auto-draft available for your convenience.

Zelle, Venmo, PayPal, etc.

You can donate via Zelle or other methods. Simply use the contact form below and we will provide you the contact information you need to send.

A note about PayPal and Venmo: Venmo is owned by PayPal, and PayPal donates to Planned Parenthood. The transaction fees that PayPal charges directly fund abortions, so we do not use PayPal.

Donate Time and Talent

Catechesis and Faith Formation

Are you a catechist? Do you want to be one? Interested in facilitating online classes, writing articles, doing research, speaking at organizational events or helping with retreats and Vacation Bible School? Then come join the fun! Use the contact form below to tell us your interests, and you can bet we will respond quickly!

Administration, Technology, Social Media and More…

How’s your web site talent? Accounting? Fundraising? Event planning? Errand-running? Just about anything a fast-growing nonprofit needs, we need! And you probably have what it takes to help us help anyone grow in their Catholic Faith…so drop us a line and let us know! Use the contact form below to raise your hand and volunteer!

Got Questions? We Have Answers…

Let’s see if they match!

HOO Is Holy Owned and Operated?

  • We are HOO We Are. Follow that link for details! Or look just below this section for a summary of the folks behind it all…
  • This Week’s Free Thing is weekly, and it’s free. And it helps anyone grow in their Catholic Faith while they dig deeper into the Mass or relevant seasons and celebrations of the liturgical year.
  • Check out or jam-packed Faith Formation page! Live Stream mass, get the Daily Readings, view our latest lesson. Free!
  • See our Resources page, or learn about FAR OUT, the retreat for middle school students teaching them about Faith and Reason, and how the two walk hand-in-hand – even watch a video slideshow of one of the retreats.

FAQs

Are my donations tax deductible??

Yes! At least in the United States they are. Holy Owned and Operated, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, incorporated as a tax exempt corporation in Texas. All donors receive a year-end summary of their donations, which includes our IRS EIN. These are processed in January and you should have it by the end of that month.

What do you do with my money?

Well, we spend it, for the most part. We can’t keep it for profit. A lot of our initial overhead is covered, such as keeping the lights on and the computers working and the web server people happy. Oh, and the Internet guys. It’s amazing how much it costs just to have an ecommerce site, so donations cover the cost of, well, getting donations! There’s ongoing education and then there’s all the teaching we do for our end customers, mostly families, who do not have access to good, let alone great, faith formation in their own parishes. So you are helping to support topnotch DRE and Faith Formation instruction – you might know it as CCD or RE or Religious Education – for your won parishioners as well as people you will never meet. At least until you are separated with the other sheep and get to meet all the people you helped through HOO.

What are your qualifications for sharing the Catholic Faith?

So glad you asked! First, here is the full rundown on that, including the CV. That also has what other people think our qualifications are. But in a nutshell…

Beth Cowles, MACE – A lifelong Catholic teaching the Faith for nearly 30 years, Beth has earned a Master of Arts in Catechetics and Evangelization (MACE) from the elite and orthodox Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio (FUS) and is a Mentor and Workshop Writer for the Catechetical Institute (CI) at that same institution. Beth also holds the internationally prestigious Parish Catechetical Leadership certification from the St. John Bosco Conference, a grueling five-year certification process. Beth accomplished these four milestones since 2015 while maintaining full time work at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Bryan, Texas, where she served for ten years as Director of Religious Education, High School Youth Minister, and Coordinator of Elementary Religious Education. These accolades are on top of her countless certifications at the Diocesan level as a Director of Religious Education (DRE) and catechist trainer. She represented the parish to the deanery and diocese as DRE and hwas the parish Ethics and Integrity in Ministry (EIM – the diocese youth and vulnerable adults protection program) Administrator and a Diocesan EIM Workshop facilitator for nearly a decade. In August 2020 Beth was hired by Franciscan University as an Adjunct Professor in Theology. Beth is also a certified teacher with ten years of classroom experience in public and parochial schools after graduating from Texas A&M University. Beth’s proudest accomplishment beyond her vocation as wife and mom are the relationships she has cultivated with hundreds of families, catechists, and parishioners as she has helped them grow in their faith and relationship with Jesus and their parish.

Kristofer Cowles. MHD – A converted atheist-now-Catholic, Kristofer has continued his lay work as a catechist since 1995; his neophyte year. He has taught catechetical and Faith Formation classes in Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), RCIA Adapted for Children, Marriage Preparation, Confirmation, Youth Ministry, and retreats, as well as the Faith to his own children as the primary home school teacher for the last decade. In 2013, Kristofer launched the Catholic apostolate ManHusbandDad.com, teaching men to live the virtuous life to which they are called by grace. Kristofer is also a Mentor for the Catechetical Institute and has several Diocesan-level catechist certifications. Kristofer founded and owned an IT company for 16 years and his own advertising agency for 18 years. He currently freelances in social media marketing and web site creation while fulfilling his primary vocation as a stay-at-home husband and dad.

Is your skin in the game?

Oh, boy, is it! We donate our own money to Holy Owned and Operated, as our current donation level does not meet the needs of the organization, and we think we ought to put our money where our mouth is. Kristofer averages sixty hours a week working the back-end and administrative side of HOO, while Beth devotes dozens of hours on top of her fulltime work outside the home. Our children all contribute, handling such duties as web maintenance, podcast and video production, and proofreading. And everything we produce goes through the rigors of self-testing before we give it the go ahead for other families and individuals to use.

Can my business donate?

Yes! Please do! There are several opportunities for sponsorhip or underwriting that would fit many local and national audiences, as well as our international growth, that most businesses and industries would find appealing. Mostly because Catholics are universal, and so they use just about everything! You can donate using theHOO 100 form above, or you can contact us with the form below, and Kristofer will visit with you personally to see if there’s a fit.

How did you come up with such a clever name as "Holy Owned and Operated"?

That’s all Kristofer and his weird mind. That’s how it works. He does that all the time. For instance, our middle school retreat is called “FAR OUT.” When Beth was rying to think of a name for it in 2011, she described it as “a camping trip where you teach kids how reason and faith work together, just as John Paul the Great and other popes and the Church have always taught.” Kristofer just piped up and said, “How about FAR OUT?” and Beth asked, “What does that stand for? To which the famous answer was, “Faith And Reason Outdoor Unity Tour.” Yeah, he’s like that. It’s pretty cool, actually. Like when we were talking about what we would call something educational about the Faith that somebody else produced but we endorsed and approved of. Kristofer just nonchalantly said,
Holy Owned and Operated – This One We Like.” Yep…HOOT OWL. Scary.

Do you offer resources in other languages?

Yes! But only if you are willing to volunteer and translate. Or at least make sure Google Translate did it right. We don’t really trust it enough to rely on it completely. Collectively, we know enough Russian, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Greek to be dangerous and probably make it down the street in any country that speaks those languages. But until we have some volunteers, or a donor who helps us finish our Rosetta Stone subscriptions, we’re stuck hoping those who find us who speak a different language can use and understand Google’s translations. So please volunteer using the form below!

Seriously, though, part of the donations from the HOO 100 will be used to purchase some really cool software that allows us to seamlessly translate everything we do into a gazillion languages. There’s even a Klingon option – which we won’t buy. 😉

What of I have other questions?

Great! We either have the answer, will find the answer, or will work with you to come up with an answer. We learned long ago that if one person is bold enough to ask, there are many more who have the same question but have not asked. So, use the contact form below and ask away! And thank you for helping us all out with your question!

Showing HOO Founders Kristofer, I & Elizabeth Cowles
HOO™ We Are
We formed Holy Owned and Operated (HOO™) in Spring 2019 to facilitate the growing of Beth & Kristofer’s separate and combined ministries and in response to the needs of our first client, a Catholic parish in central Texas who had hired us to consult on ministerial evaluation and development for their faith formation program.

A year later, in March 2020, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Beth was furloughed to ten hours a week as Coordinator of Elementary Religious Education at our parish, with an additional 10% pay cut of the original forty hour weekly pay then deducted before any pay was received. After the initial shock of her ten-year position being all-but-eliminated, we evaluated the global response of the Catholic Church and realized that Mother Church had been caught flat-footed from a technology and modern evangelization standpoint. As we learned from contacts across the United States, Beth’s case was not only common, but apparently the norm for Faith Formation professionals across the Universal Church.

We quickly understood that most parishes, because they live hand-to-mouth off Sunday collections, cannot during this time of pandemic afford to sustain cradle-to-grave Faith Formation programs and the RCIA, RCIA Adapted for Children, Confirmation, and First Communion processes, or even Bible studies coordinated by the church office. They just are not collecting enough cash to pay people for their work, especially when so many regular donors are tightening their belts due to their own employment uncertainty. When this will change for unprepared parishes is anybody’s guess, but the going conventional wisdom is “a long time from now, if ever.”

While considering this devastating circumstance, we knew we had the combined experience of more than fifty years in catechetical and family ministry, and had countless original programs, talks, seminars, written and other media material, and the certifications and education to help our beloved Catholic Church while lifting up the whole of the Body of Christ – the people – who, at such a desperate, lonely, and scary time, needed the community and consolation of the Church who, by financial necessity, had essentially shut her doors to all for everything, except for the few parishes that could manage, to varied degrees of success, a live Mass on facebook. We, Beth and Kristofer, had for decades been prepared by God for this moment. With the reality of being unemployed for an indeterminate period staring at us, He nudged us that final push over the ledge and we took the leap of faith to launch what He had been encouraging us to pursue for several years.

We knew at Holy Owned and Operated that all we needed was an online welcome mat to let people know there was help and support. So, we built this web site in record time and decided to open it while still building it and adding new material to it several times a week, as we converted our material to web-accessible information and support. We knew that if schools and companies were adapting how they served their constituents, then we could do the same. In fact, the pandemic forced families into learning these new technologies and ways of learning and sharing and producing and the schools and companies were enduring the burden and expense of teaching millions how to use and implement them, so we did not have to spend money we did not have and time we could not spare helping folks tackle that learning curve. We saw people learning how to use Zoom, for instance, so we did not have to teach them how or even teach them what it is, let alone convince them it is useful.

Every day is a new set of challenges for Holy Owned and Operated as we navigate uncharted waters of mistakes, creating and discarding systems, and doing our best to feed our family. But those will become manageable and less distracting as people use our service and some choose to donate, and others choose to become paid subscribers.

We are NOT afraid or uncertain. Those are tools of the Devil, and he has no place in our Faith or the life of our family. Fear comes from a lack of Faith, and that Theological Virtue runs rampant through our veins. We know that we are doing what God wants us to do right now.

We know, without doubt, that as long as we are being who we are supposed to be as God has called us in our vocations to be – Man and Woman, Husband and Wife, Dad and Mom – and are doing all that He needs us to do through those vocations, He will provide for us the means to support that which He has decreed.

God does not deny that which He has ordained. He has ordained that Holy Owned and Operated support and affirm YOU where you are in your Catholic Faith and help you grow in that Faith so that you, your family, and the Church that God himself started will be strong, faithful, and universal. That will not be denied.

 

Our Team and Leadership
We, Beth & Kristofer Cowles, as one flesh individually and through HOO™, recognize and support and believe to be the preeminent teaching model the Magisterium’s teaching that parents are the first educators of their children and that faith formation is a lifelong process. You can count on us to be there regardless of where you are on your faith journey, how much of a sinner you or we are, and whether or not a Natural Evil like a pandemic has come calling. We learned this from Jesus who went to the sick and did not wait for them to come to his classroom, (Mk 2:17) and we hope to share with you everything we know and continue to learn. Our 50+ combined years of catechetical preparation has put us in this time and at this place to serve you, The Church.

Please know that you are in our prayers specifically if we know you through our ministerial work or other relationships, and that we are praying for you if we haven’t met yet, either. We humbly ask for your prayers and blessings, too.

We are the Co-Founders of Holy Owned and Operated, and are currently working with several volunteers to sign on as catechists for our expected growth . If you are interested in this volunteer work, please use our contact page to drop us a note and we’ll be in touch.

Professor Beth Cowles, MACE

Mama | HOO™ Co-Founder, Director of Faith Formation, and Lead Catechist

I grew up in a loving Catholic/Episcopalian family. My father is Catholic, and my mother was Episcopalian until 2015, when she entered the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil. I attended Catholic School from Kindergarten through 8th grade, and the public high school as there was no local Catholic High School. I joined the high school youth group (CYO) at a local parish and became involved on a retreat team that put on the Confirmation retreat for the local teens. I attended Texas A&M University and became involved with the college ministry at St. Mary’s in College Station as a lector and in Aggie Awakening. While at Texas A&M I met Kristofer. Long story short, we got married 3 months after I graduated.

I worked as a science and math teacher for several years before entering ministry fulltime in 2010 at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Bryan, Texas. I was hired as the Coordinator of Elementary Religious Education (CRE) and have been in that position since. I also served a two year stint as the high school youth minister from 2012 to 2014. As CRE, I have trained dozens of catechists, taught Sacramental Preparation classes to hundreds of parish families, led the RCIA Adapted for Children, and coordinated countless retreats and multigenerational programs, events, rites and gatherings for the Faith Formation programs. For eight years I was the deanery representative for the DREs to the Diocese of Austin, and for much of my tenure I have taught diocesan sponsored classes and mentored parish catechetical leaders both informally and formally.

I have written and produced five original Vacation Bible School curricula, a middle school retreat entitled FAR OUT: Faith and Reason Outdoor Unity Tour, and a multitude of articles and other material to help assist catechists and parents reach their full potential as “echoers” of the faith and the first educators of the Faith in their families.

I earned my Master of Arts in Catechetics and Evangelization (MACE) in December 2019 from Franciscan University of Steubenville while working full-time. I work with the Catechetical Institute at Franciscan as a mentor and task-writer for their online workshops. Most recently, I have been named an Adjunct Professor of Theology for FUS and will facilitate online courses for the University.

Kristofer and I have been married since 1996 and have home schooled our children (The Boyz) for twenty years. That’s HOO I am!

 

 

Kristofer Cowles, MHD

Daddy| HOO™ Co-Founder, Curator of Catechetical Content, and Catechist

I was born in New Hampshire and lived with my Grandmother outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania after my parents divorced in Vermont when I was six. I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at thirteen during the eight years I lived in Ohio with my divorced father and brothers and sister, all older than me. My entire time in Ohio was spent in poverty, including several winters going without heat in the house. Not knowing the Natural Law that personal responsibility and one’s decisions pave the path before a man, I left home at 18 (and vowed never to go back, which I didn’t), a year and a half after moving to Texas with my father (who left Ohio to escape many things aside from just the poverty), heading to college objectively ill-equipped to be an adult. An avowed atheist, misogynist, liberal and moral relativist by this time, I eagerly participated in the immoral lifestyle of a person without scruples or virtue.

The time I spent with my Grandmother is where the seeds for my grace-filled life and apostolate, ManHusbandDad were planted, and on summer and holiday visits to her from Ohio those seeds would be watered and nurtured, eventually starting to show growth above the dirt after I had finished four years of college and had determined that my lifestyle, for some reason I did not know, wasn’t right.Those four years were spent walking in the shadow of a building on my college campus that had words inscribed on it that I finally read and accepted as a challenge to me personally from God:

“Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free.”

Click for a larger image to see the quote.

I read these words for the first time ten days before I transferred from this school that supported my immoral lifestyle to another school one hundred miles and a completely different world away. The events leading up to reading those words is a great story of God’s intervention and nudging.

So I spent the next four years facing off against God’s challenge (When I had read those words I said out loud, as an atheist, “Okay, God, if you exist, let’s see who knows the truth. I accept.”). I was an honest skeptic seeking the Truth through myriad books and faith traditions, counting the Bhagavad Gita, Koran, Torah, Talmud, Bible, Book of Mormon, I Ching and their incumbent religions among them, but the list is exhaustive. I visited every house of worship I could, and stood outside those I wasn’t allowed in, asking questions constantly. Eventually I found the Catholic Church, convinced intellectually of its founding by Jesus Christ when I read Mathew 16:18:

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church

This revelation of the succession of Popes throughout history, of which I am a proud student, was the final piece in a journey of Catholic discovery that had started with a very physical, personal and real experience with God two years earlier, a blessing that does not give me the option of any doubt of His existence.

I was baptized, confirmed, and came into full communion with the Holy Catholic Church on April 15, 1995; 11 days shy of my 26th birthday.

Since then...

Life began anew for me that day. I left university a month later with over 160 credit hours, eight years, and no degree, though 11 more hours would qualify me for a tripe degree in English, History, and Speech Communications. Much of that education was due to me seeking the Truth, and once the Truth set me free, God instructed me to leave school and start my own business.

Through countless miracles in the millennia prior to my baptism and the 19 months after, I married Beth on November 9, 1996, and God has continued to shower miracles upon us daily, blessing us with three boys and a dog (our second, and we had a cat for a year). I live in Texas and smoke a mean brisket. I am fond of a good cigar, especially when there is a good porch and good conversation accompanying it, and a cold beer or few fingers of Jack Daniels would top off that perfect evening. I also fancy myself a pretty good No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em poker player, having finished eleventh out of 300 in the only casino tournament I ever entered.

I started speaking from the stage in 1993, when I stopped feeling sorry for myself and what I thought was a bad hand that life had dealt me. Inspired by the teachings of Stephen Covey, who taught me that if I know my past I can change my future instead of blaming my past for my lot in life, I quickly became a professional motivational speaker, being paid obscene amounts of money (at least for a 24 year-old) for presentations that my Speech professors were giving me Bs for…!

Today, chronically ill and now blind in one eye, I see opportunity in life where once I saw nothing but hopelessness. And I like to share that with people, as well as my philosophy and concrete guidelines on how to not just make it through life, but to succeed in a way that can only mean God has something special only you can do.

In 2013, twenty years after showing me that His gift to me was the talents of writing and speaking, God gave me the vision for what is now a Catholic apostolate, ManHusbandDad. I like to say that God gave me a talent for writing and public speaking, and made me aware of it before I even believed in Him. It just took almost two decades for Him to train me on what he wanted me to write and speak about – being a Man, Husband, and Dad. And it took several more years for him to bring my training to a point here I could share what He wanted me to share.

This conclusion was not an easy discernment. Who was I to teach others how to be a Man, much less a Husband and a Dad? I had grown up in abject poverty; sexual, physical, emotional and mental abuse; a broken and dysfunctional family life; subjective agnosticism and atheism; misogyny; and moral relativism that justified all of it including divorce, abandoning children, and degenerate and purposeful lack of parenting. Combined with a constant fear of not knowing when or where the next meal would come, or if I would be allowed to eat it, I not only started out with no training in how to be a Man, Husband, or Dad, but actually had a diametrically opposite idea of what those vocations were – though I had no clue they were vocations, or even what a vocation was or that such a thing even existed. At the time that I discovered my talents for speaking and writing, the only thing I could speak and write about in that genre was how to break all Ten Commandments and how to best avoid being a Man, Husband, or Dad, which of course would only be profitable at a convention of pornographers. Which is why my motivational speaking career of the 90s failed, since all I could do was mimic the great speakers like Covey, Ziglar, and Nightingale; I had no foundation in Truth back then. I was a parrot while I was slowly, through the inexorable patience of God, learning.

I have been around a couple of blocks, some of them more than once. And I’ve had a fair share of rodeos, too. Whether being an On-Air Radio personality or selling Radio advertising; delivering newspapers, ice, t-shirts, pizza, or custom photography; designing web sites; fixing computers; DJ’ing; steel and road construction; slinging burgers at McDonald’s or a beach concession stand; or running legal files and consulting on Parliamentary Procedure issues, training organizations on membership recruitment and retention, and social media and traditional marketing and owning several businesses that provided these products and services, I have professional experiences that mix with my personal life experiences to provide a Pandora’s box of topics and presentations that not only teach, but inspire (and I can also write really long sentences apparently!). And I haven’t even told you about my personal experiences during my eight years of misguided college life – I think your imagination might not be able to think of everything. I hope not, anyway. There are broken souls in my wake.

I have paved my way down a path that God has shown and led me down, making the way a bit less bumpy for those who follow – starting with my Wife – Mama – and our three boys – The Boyz. Growing up without guidance on so many fronts that a Man, Husband, and Dad must be able to meet head-on, I took the vocations seriously from the start, studying successful ManHusbandDads and purposefully applying the success to my own life and family; when I met my future Father-in-Law I kept a small notebook in my pocket to write down everything he did because I could tell he was exactly what a ManHusbandDad should be, though I did not even know that concept yet. Everything I do is my own making revealed by God as the path to take, including specifically rejecting the way I was raised in order to forge a new family tree from those seeds my Grandmother planted. I am not a self-made Man – God made me. I am a self-discovered ManHusbandDad, chiseled out of the vision I had of myself into the vision God has for me.

My oldest son is a Dean’s List student at Franciscan University of Steubenville, and my wife has earned her Master’s degree from Franciscan as well, and is now an adjunct professor at that fine school. I’ve run my business from home for the last 20 years, and I have been the lead educator in our home school since 2010, since my oldest son was in fourth grade. Our family eats dinner every night at the dining room table and that alone will tell anybody what else our family is and does. To see me today is a vigorous denunciation of who I was half a lifetime ago, and the only one who recognizes me is the God who saved me and the woman who married me. I owe it to Him to share his love, that I have seen most perfectly echoed through Beth, with the nations, starting with my family. So I may not have the formal training to do it, but I have helped my parish and deanery and diocese in ways that tell me it is time to help others in tandem with my Wife and Boyz, so here I am, Lord.

No, I do not have the formal training my wife and children have. I have decades of catechetical teaching and mentoring and living. There is practical application to the faith we form, and that’s where I fit into this wonderful thing called Holy Owned and Operated. I keep it real. It may be jagged and rough, but so is life. You won’t get too many pretty words from me, and I may be a Dumb Ox, but I’m exactly who God wants me to be and doing exactly what he wants me to do…and I want to help as many other people as possible have the pleasure of knowing that about themselves, too.

Far from perfect, I seek that goal of perfection in the Biblical sense. I make many mistakes daily and still drop the ball in relationships. But I continue to improve by remembering that defeat only happens if you don’t get up one more time. What you see is what you get with me, and hopefully that makes me someone you can relate to. But in the long run, I know that I am turning the ship of multi-generational dysfunction from my own past and setting the right path for my children as what Stephen Covey would call a transitional parent – and while that is not what I planned for my life, I am very comfortable knowing that I am following God’s plan for me to be a Man, Husband, and Dad.

And you’re invited to walk along that path with me.

Our Advisory Panel

Crucial to shepherding, faith formation, and proper business management, our Advisory Panel is a constant resource as we work to help anyone grow in their Catholic Faith.

Fr. Albert Haase, OFM, Ph. D.

Spiritual Director | Universal Outreach

A Franciscan Friar, Fr. Albert is a globally recognized author, preacher, radio icon, and speaker. Born in New Orleans, Father has always been called by the French pronunciation of his first name, “Al-bear.” He received a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Fordham University in 1990, writing his dissertation on Franciscan hagiography, specifically, Bonaventure’s Major Life of Saint Francis of Assisi. But Father would be the first to tell you he enjoys dabbling in academia but is far from being a scholar! A former missionary to mainland China for over eleven years, he is the award-winning author of eleven books on popular spirituality and the presenter on five best-selling DVDs. He is currently chaplain at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center, Temple TX. Father Albert has been an important part of the Cowles Family since 2013. To learn more about Father Albert, visit his website: AlbertOFM.org

Mr. J. J. Ruffino

Business Counselor | Family Formation

J. J. grew up in the “Mom & Pop” grocery business. In 1973 he began a 38 year career in the Adult Beverage Business. It grew to a 3 store regional chain which he sold to a state wide chain in 2010. J. J. (“Mr. Cherry Ruffino”) then joined his wife Cherry in her then thirty-year successful real estate practice, where he serves as Commercial agent and Certified Distressed Property Expert. J. J. has spent innumerable hours volunteering on countless local boards and fundraisers, including various servant-leadership positions in the parish his grandparents helped to build as immigrants to Bryan, Texas, St. Anthony. J. J. has been a constant and loyal friend and counselor to the Cowles Family and our collective ministerial calling since our introduction in 2010, though it turns out he was the first person Kristofer met in the local area, in 1990. J. J. serves as our Business Counsel and a Family Faith Formation Advisor, particularly helping us reach those parents least likely to understand, embrace, and take action as their child’s primary educator. He also talks Kristofer off the ledge regularly. J. J. is a motivational speaker focusing on the theme that “The Best Is Yet To Come,” a mantra by which J. J. lives and leads!

Kevin and Anne O'Neill

Marriage and Family Life

Anne worked in Lisbon, Portugal as the nurse in the American Embassy, in Camp Zama, Japan as an RN in the U.S. Army clinic, and as a school nurse in the Bryan, Texas  Independent School District. Kevin served as an officer in the U.S. Army for 30 years and retired as a Colonel. Anne and Kevin have been married for almost 60 years. They have four children and six grandchildren.

These were their humble words they provided to us when we asked them for a biography for the web site. That alone, if you know them, should tell you their humility and perfection. Officially, they are Kevin O’Neill, Col., Ret., US ARMY, Ph. D., and Anne O’Neill, R.N.

Kevin is Sandan, Sensei, Doctor, and Colonel. Anne is a Registered Nurse and the only reason Kevin is anything else. Together, they are the epitome of everything we teach and share at Holy Owned and Operated. We know Kevin is some awesome degree of black belt in two martial arts, and that Anne has served in times of uncertainty during the Cold War when Kevin had to keep drop zones secret from her. Kevin earned a Ph. D. after he retired, and Anne gave selflessly of her time and efforts in service to the community in our small Texas town when their combined service should have garnered them spotlights and great global recognition.

Those basic facts do not even come close to the amazingness that is the O’Neills. Kristofer and Beth knew of Kevin and Anne before really coming to know them. Our first notice of them was at a Kiwanis meeting in 193 when Anne introduced Kevin for a martial arts demonstration and he, at every advance, proceeded to floor a man half his age. As parishioners at St. Mary Catholic Center in College Station, we were familiar with their presence at Mass; it was in 2001 when we all attended the inaugural Christ Renews His Parish retreats that we knowlingly became brothers and sisters. Anne and Beth became the Director and Co-director for the next CRHP women’s retreat and spent the next six months meeting regularly to coordinate that and coming to know each other in the way only the Holy Spirit can accomplish. Kristofer and Kevin were part of a group of around ten of the CRHP brothers who met every Saturday morning as an accountability group. Over the last twenty years that group has evolved into “Breakfast with the Guys” once a month with a core of 4 and the others floating in and out as travel back to our town allows. Kristofer has grown as a ManHusbandDad in great part to Kevin’s steady and constant presence, advice, and often sought after admonishment. Kevin and Anne provide the wisdom and perspective that only 60 years of marriage, a full-time military career, a life of caring for the health of others, and a lifetime of practicing and practical Catholicism can provide. We are honored and humbled by their love and friendship for us and our calling, which they have been instrumental in us discerning, and we are overjoyed at their joining our Advisory Panel for HOO. Oh, and by the way, Kevin is our youngest son’s Confirmation Sponsor, to boot! They never stop serving and loving!

Fr. John McManamon, SJ, Ph. D.

Education Development

A member of the Society of Jesus, Father John is Professor Emeritus of Renaissance History at Loyola University Chicago, a Scholar in Residence at the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA), and a nautical archaeologist. He is the author of several history books and treatises, including Caligula’s Barges and the Renaissance Origins of Nautical Archaeology Under Water (2016). Father is currently in College Station, Texas, supervising the final publication of the 9th-century Bozburun Shipwreck excavated by INA between 1995 and 1998. Father John has participated in the excavation of shipwrecked or derelict vessels in Italy, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Denmark, and helped survey for shipwrecks in Malta and Morocco. Father John has been an important part of the Cowles Family since 2017, though their paths seem to have criss-crossed for decades previously in various parts of the United States. Father is a loyal Cleveland fan, much to the good-natured chagrin of Kristofer’s Pittsburgh upbringing.

Mrs. Tracy Picha, CPA

Financial Accounting Counsel

Tracy and her husband, Dale, have been close friends of Kristofer and Beth for twenty years. Having met during a CRHP retreat, we have worked with them in Marriage Preparation in countless events. Tracy is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and has worked in several environments, from large government operations to small and mid-size real estate investment corporations. She currently provides CPA services independently from home as she manages the Picha household and tries to keep up with their precocious daughter. The Pichas are parishioners at Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio, Texas. Tracy serves as our Financial Accounting Counsel and, along with Dale, aside from being cherished family friends, they have always been a source of advice and counsel in Holy Matrimony and Family Life by their exemplary Catholic living.
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