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(LifeSiteNews) — Rome Life Forum attendees will be able to meet and speak with Hugh Owen, founder and director of the Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation, at this year’s event. Owen’s conversion story is particularly unique because he is the son of the first secretary general of International Planned Parenthood Federation.  

This autumn, from October 31 to November 1, American writer, educator, and speaker Hugh Owen will join Catholic leaders at the 2023 Rome Life Forum. The two-day strategy conference will be held immediately after the Vatican’s Synod on Synodality, which threatens to formalize heretical teachings on the family. 

Owen told LifeSiteNews that he looks forward to “prayer and fellowship with Catholics committed to living and proclaiming the Catholic Faith, whole and entire – and to helping to expose the modernist roots of the anti-culture of death, so that we can eradicate them by God’s grace and help to establish the social reign of Christ Our King and Mary our Queen throughout the world.” 

Finding Christ in a fallen world 

Owen and his siblings were raised as “Christ-less Christians,” by being expected to act like Christians but without Christ.  

“We never prayed, read the Bible, said grace at meals, went to church, or even acknowledged the possible existence of a Supreme Being,” he told LifeSiteNews.  

Owen’s father, Sir David Owen, held that overpopulation was “the root of all the world’s problems.” Consequently, he became the first secretary general of International Planned Parenthood Federation.  

“By the grace of God, my father did not live to implement IPPF’s diabolical agenda, but died unexpectedly of a heart attack in London soon after assuming his new role,” Owen revealed. 

Following his father’s death, Owen became severely depressed and “would have killed myself had I not sensed a still, small voice inside me, which told me that suicide would make my misery eternal.” 

“To avoid that eternal misery, I went on living, and Divine Providence arranged for me to encounter certain books, places, people, and experiences that convinced me of the existence of a Supreme Being, that Jesus Christ is that Supreme Being, and that He had suffered and died to atone for my sins,” he continued.   

After Owen began his studies at Princeton University, he attended the Mass where he discovered that there is something “ineffably different about the Catholic Liturgy.” In 1972, he chose to convert to Catholicism and dedicate his life to serving Christ and His Church.   

Serving to rebuild Christ’s Church 

In 2000, he founded the Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation, an apostolate which provides a forum for Catholic theologians, philosophers, and natural scientists working to defend the traditional Catholic interpretation of Genesis 1-11 and rejecting the mainstream view of evolution.  

He is also the producer of the DVD series “Foundations Restored,” which provides a comprehensive defense of the traditional Catholic doctrine of creation from the perspective of theology, philosophy, and natural science and which exposes the fatal flaws in the molecules-to-man evolution hypothesis in its theistic and atheistic forms. 

Furthermore, LifeSite readers may recognize him as the author of a series of articles “exploding the evolutionary myth of creation-based racism.”  

Owen is also the Director of the John Paul II Institute of Christian Spirituality, which studies and publishes the lives and writings of modern saints who received profound insights into the interior life of Our Lord and the Blessed Mother. 

Currently, Owen and his wife Maria Mitchell Owen live in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia where they are active members of Holy Family in Exile and Holy Innocents Melkite Greek Catholic Chapel in Front Royal, Virginia. The couple is blessed with nine children and 20 grandchildren. 

Owen revealed that he views his family and successful apostolate as gifts from God, saying, “Everything good that I have been able to participate in – almost 50 years of Holy Marriage, nine wonderful children (including a Benedictine of Mary), 20 grandchildren (so far!), direction of an apostolate that provides a forum for Catholic theologians, philosophers and natural scientists all over the world who defend the traditional Catholic doctrine of creation as the foundation of our Faith – all of it has been the grace of God.” 

Owen, who will sit on a panel during the upcoming conference, stressed the importance of Catholics gathering together to fight the evil which has made its way into the Catholic Church. 

“Events like this are extremely important because they strengthen the bonds of unity among Catholic Bishops, priests, religious and laity who are committed to living and proclaiming the Catholic Faith whole and entire,” he declared. 

Owen encouraged all Catholics to partake in the fight against evil to becoming “the great saints that God created us to be.” 

Attendees of the Rome Life Forum will have the opportunity to actively participate in all forum strategy sessions with our guest speakers. Other guest speakers include Cardinal Gerhard Müller, freedom activist and president of the pro-life Women’s Rights Without Frontiers Reggie Littlejohn, and LifeSite’s own editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen, among others. 

The conference will take place in the four-star A.Roma LifeStyle Hotel. Off the beaten track, the hotel is nevertheless just a 30-minute bus ride from St. Peter’s Square. In addition, October and November are well-known to be part of Rome’s “off-season,” providing visitors with more space – and cooler temperatures – in which to make pilgrimages to the city’s spiritual and cultural treasures. 

Tickets are limited to 200, so be sure to secure your own today. For the latest information on this year’s Rome Life Forum, please visit