HOO People Are Saying We Are…
Faith Formation Professionals say…
As a former parish DRE myself, from what I know of teaching, sacramental preparation, curriculum planning, staff professionalism, and parent-teacher relationships, I believe that Beth is most certainly well-prepared to do high quality theological and catechetical work. She has a solid command of theology, is an excellent communicator, and is very flexible in her appropriation of the catechist’s craft. She is highly suited to the organizational and logistical duties that would be normative in teaching and leadership roles. She is able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, even Master degree work on top of her family and parish responsibilities, and to impart a sense of calm to others working with her.
She has demonstrated a clear understanding of discretion and confidentiality so critical to working in ministerial roles. She is highly gifted in her ability to impart a love for the Catholic faith to others with whom she spends time. Of great value in her character, I find in her a sensitive and well-developed ability to listen deeply. In working with her over these years, I have discovered that Beth has a rare sense of practical catechetics, combined with strong writing skills that enable others to readily perceive her points.
And even more people…
Rich Hall - Founder, Leadership Services International | Victoria, Texas
When Kristofer Cowles is involved, every measure of growth, both tangible and intangible, is on the rise. Personal productivity and peace of mind – all seem to increase without bound. Cowles’ style has conquered many previously insurmountable obstacles. His message relies heavily on common sense, focuses on interpersonal relationships, and emphasizes the ultimate victory of the human spirit over every worldly antagonist.
Cowles draws strength from extraordinary tribulations in his lifelong experience, as you will no doubt hear in his poignant anecdotes. He draws an audience with his relentlessly spontaneous humor. His innate power to motivate springs from his deep-seeded love for every member of the human race.
For Kristofer, people-building is a way of life. Be forewarned that Kristofer’s presentations are highly interactive. I encourage you to open your mind and heart to his timeless message.
Gregory Sphon | Lincoln, Nebraska
David Escandell | Franklin, Tennessee
Mauro Hamza | Houston, Texas
Art King - Past Chairman, Chamber of Commerce | Bryan, Texas
HOO™ We Are
<id=”cowles”>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
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.”
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.
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.
Staff and Volunteers
Currently our staff is made up entirely of volunteers, collectively known as The Boyz. These are our sons, who make us very proud at the dedication and work they do behind the scenes to honor and glorify The Lord!
Each of these fine young Men are also Directors of Holy Owned and Operated, Inc. And the pictures were taken during Family Game Night – so you get what you pay for!
Catechist | Audio & Web Site Production
Catechist | Video & Web Site Production
Is This You?
We are actively seeking a Grant Writer who can work in a volunteer capacity until we receive some grants, which will help us facilitate compensation. We have partnered with Grant Station to provide you the tools and data you need to hot the ground running, accessing more than 9,000 grant and funding sources. Your Catholic faith and grant-writing experience and these resources should prove a winning combination for our stakeholders – the families who rely on us for Catholic Faith Formation and Religious Education in Domestic Church. Please contact us if you are interested. Please no casual inquiries.
Web Development & Content Coordinator
Is This You?
Initially a volunteer position, this work helps us create positive revenue streams through a well-organized and accessible web site. Your Catholic faith and experience in web site taxonomy, SEO, and content curation as well as creativity in the presentation of massive amounts of content being produced weekly will help us provide the resources families are craving in their quest to provide perfect Faith Formation for their Domestic Church. You may be a volunteer for up to a year before revenue streams allow for compensation. If you can help, we want to talk with you. Please contact us. 2 – 5 hours a week is what we’d like to ask of you – more if you can. Serious inquiries only, please.
Writers and Contributors
Our Writers and Contributors play an integral part in providing context to our teaching with the content they provide. Articles and insight from the world around us, always focused on Virtue, Beatitude, and the Truth the Catholic Church teaches. The best and most thoughful people choose to contribute to Holy Owned and Operated – if you want to be a part of this talented team and share your capabilities and insights with families across the globe, you should contact us.
Nicholas H. Kovacs, OFS
I was born in Western Canada. In 1999 I moved to the Gulf Coast of the United States with my family where I became an American Citizen. In 2011, we moved back to Canada. I have four published books which can all be found online:
“Holy Mysteries: Reflections on The Sacraments”
“Sacraments of Initiation: Intimacy This Side of Heaven”
“She Wants to Dance With Me: a Script for a Theatrical Play”
“Lessons Learned from Star Trek”,
I am a third-order Franciscan and created a special prayer called the “Franciscan Family Chaplet”, and I am also an EWTN media missionary.
I am a web designer and an avid blogger. My personal blog is populusdei.wordpress.com, which has 2,000 followers on Facebook.
The purpose of my articles for Holy Owned and Operated is to provide commentary in areas of faith, family, culture, current events, and politics from a Man’s perspective through the ManHusbandDad approach.
Star Trek, which we can blame my Dad for introducing me to, can play prominently in some of my analogies and articles, which I do not apologize for but do my best to explain things in a way that even someone unfamiliar with the shows can see what I’m trying to say.
I must admit that in my teenage years, I was not properly taught the teachings of the Catholic faith in my parish, nor from the Catholic school that I went to. I certainly did not fully understand the Catholic teachings of chastity, but I tried my best to live them out. I struggled at times with impure thoughts and desires, and had a hard time understanding male sexuality.
In both my teenage years, and even in my adult life, I receive great benefits from the sacrament of confession in giving me the strength to live out a chaste life.
Through my articles I hope to continue the discussion on masculinity in today’s world in an entertaining and educational way.
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
Fr. John McManamon, SJ, Ph. D.
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!
Deacon Andy and Pam Perrone
Marriage | Catechesis | Service | Financial Counsel
We have known Deacon Andy and Pam since 2010, and every moment has been a blessing for us and our family.
Both serve our local community behind-the-scenes in countless ways, living the corporal works of mercy with every breath.
Andy is great at homiletics, and is busy with two right now, so we gave him until the end of February 2021 to come up with a bio before we start gushing about him and Pam ourselves. That could be embarrassing. See the one we did for Kevin and Anne to know what we mean!
Mr. J. J. Ruffino
Business Counselor | Family Formation
Mrs. Tracy Picha, CPA
Financial Accounting Counsel