Dear Mr. Owen,
It is amazing how much miraculous work I have seen God do. I came back to a relationship with Christ just over five years ago, in March 2001, at 23 years old — I will be 29 this July 27th. Before this I was heavily into drinking and other addictions, and quite depressed, but I never convinced myself to be an atheist, and I knew that something supernatural was going on because I never got into as much trouble as I should have done!! After my conversion, over time, and after jumping from one evangelical community to another, I wondered if any church could ever be my true home. It was at this time that I began to investigate the Catholic Church.
I was working at Teletech in my city of Sudbury at the time, (I am now in university) and a Catholic coworker of mine supported me in my new relationship with the Lord. He invited me to the Catholic charismatic prayer group where he played the keyboard, and while I was going to this group I began to notice differences between Protestant belief and the Catholic Faith, especially in regard to the Holy Eucharist and Mary. Within two years of searching I came into the Catholic Church in November of 2002.
Although at this point I had not heard of the Kolbe Center, I was deeply influenced by a strong evangelist and Bible preacher named Fr. Bill Halbing who taught everyone to believe that the Bible is true. Sadly, after a while I began to realize that many Catholics did not take God at his word, and that this was especially true in regard to Genesis and creation. I never felt at peace with the millions and billions of years, and after reading Gerry Keane's book Creation Rediscovered I was very excited to learn that the truth about creation was indeed being compromised. It was probably at this time or in early 2004 that I first came across the Kolbe Center on the web (it may have been recommended by Gerry Keane or I may have come across it websurfing). I was amazed at the work that they were doing to proclaim the truth of creation on an international scale, and I knew in my heart from the Holy Spirit that I wanted to be a part of this mission. I began to compile a list of people in my area who believed in the traditional Catholic understanding of creation or who were open to it, and, after calling Hugh Owen and meeting a lady in Sudbury with a Catholic apostolate, the doors opened for me to go to Virginia to the Third International Catholic Creation Conference in October of 2004.
Gerry Keane did a wonderful presentation here in Sudbury as well, presenting for about 50 Catholics up here. He also had a nice dinner with my grandfather who is a strong evangelical creationist of many, many years. Actually, the truth of creation has brought me Christian unity with my grandfather who had a hard time with my conversion to Catholicism. Finally, I would like to recognize my evangelical brother David (also not Catholic) who has been behind me on my creation efforts. He is now in graphic design, and plans to print information on Haeckel's faked drawings of embryos. My brother and I both love Pope Benedict XVI's statement (paraphrased) that we are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution, that each of us is loved and that each of us is necessary.
In 2005 the Kolbe Center was invited to present a Catholic creation conference in Sudbury but had the invitation revoked because of complaints from a few prejudiced and poorly-informed people. Through this trial, Hugh Owen really helped me to see that, as St. Paul says, when one part of the body suffers, it is for the building up and consolation of another, and indeed the Lord has opened up opportunities for the Kolbe Center to hold many other creation conferences internationally.
I am thankful that, whatever happens, God through His redemptive suffering will redeem this groaning creation and restore and transform the world into a glorious new creation where righteousness and peace will be at home.
May Christ transform us all in this Easter Season!
May the peace and the love of Christ be with all of you from Sudbury, Ontario, Canada!