Kolbe Report 4/6/24

Catholic Theater from a Young Catholic’s Perspective

Dear Friends of the Kolbe Center,

Christ is risen! Alleluia!

Recently a priest friend of mine on the other side of the world wrote to me to say how much he had come to appreciate the link between the traditional liturgy of the Roman Rite and the traditional doctrine of creation.  I suggested that he watch the video of the play that my wife and the young people performed at last year’s leadership retreat, “The World Thou Hast Made Firm,” which begins with St. Jutta and St. Hildegard of Bingen, moves to St. Robert Bellarmine and Galileo, and ends with Sister Wilhelmina and the Benedictines of Mary.  He wrote back to me to say how edified he was by the production, and this, in turn, inspired me to encourage readers of this newsletter to recommend our leadership retreat to families with children who would like to have the opportunity to grow in their faith and to participate in Catholic drama that gives glory to God.

One of the young people who has participated in several of our plays over the years is Abigail Grace Adams.  If you have not seen her performance of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi at this link, please watch it with your family as soon as possible for a most edifying and enjoyable experience.  Abigail was kind enough to write a brief testimonial on the value of the kind of Catholic theater that we offer at our leadership retreats, especially for young people, so I would like to use this week’s newsletter to share it with you:

Catholic Theater from a Young Catholic’s Perspective

“I am not capable of doing big things, but I want to do everything, even the smallest things, for the greater glory of God.” —St. Dominic Savio

Giving glory to God in everything orients oneself upward where the saints reside, as it is a heavenly practice. Whether in the practice of one’s daily duties, or enjoying recreation with family and friends, there are many ways to give glory to God. One such rewarding way is to participate in Catholic Theater.

Fortunately, I have grown up participating in theater productions. From The Life of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi to the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne and others, I have always enjoyed putting myself in someone else’s shoes. Being in costume and on stage allows a person to learn a role and play a character that can either challenge oneself more than usual or more easily highlights one’s personal abilities.

Encouraging young people to “come out of their shell” is usually the first hurdle in playing a part as they may think that they cannot do it, as they’re shy. From my acting experience, after the first time or two this concern just went away and has never returned. I remember the first time I performed in one of Mrs. Owen’s plays a few years ago. Her high expectations were evident immediately. That motivated me and others as she built up our confidence, and the cast became ever more determined. A side note: she doesn’t let her actors give up easily!

Playing a saint easily empowers the actor as one wants to show the respect and honor that the saints deserve.  Whether the role is more sacrificial, prayerful, or joyful, playing a saint has always been a wonderful experience, not to mention how blessed I have been to learn a thing or two about how they became saints.

Every year at the end of summer the Kolbe Center hosts a conference on creation. I have enjoyed the conference each year I have attended as my family and I have learned much more about creation. Mrs. Owen’s plays are a highlight for me every year. It's a wonderful week filled with talks on creation, daily Mass, meeting new people and practicing and performing a play.  During this week, Mrs. Maria Owen writes and directs a play about a saint, and forms it in-part around creation. Mrs. Owen has many years of professional experience in theater, and she does a wonderful job directing the play in less than a week.

When performing in a play, pray to Our Lady to intercede for you. Ask the Holy Ghost to work and speak through you, as in this way you can truly perform an edifying role and give glory to God. Well-acted plays can inspire people and change lives. Stories connect us to our past, strengthen our faith, and renew our hope for salvation.

Although some may not like participating in plays, as it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, I encourage those somewhat interested to give it a chance. One will discover the beauty of a well-acted play, especially when performing a play with a truly Catholic theme. Performing in such a play will allow you to give God your best, which will bring a smile to Our Lord's dearest face.  Being Catholic is an eternal gift if lived well. God has given us the Church and its many holy saints as examples of how to live well. Catholic plays enable us to continue to build the kingdom. My generation as well as future generations will encounter much hardship. By living as the saints did for many centuries, we can endure all trials by the grace of God.

Although I am not 18 yet, my few years of acting experience have shown me that so much good can come from saying “yes” to acting in a play. I hope that what I’ve shared will inspire others to see the fruits of Catholic drama. I want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Owen for all they do, and I hope the Kolbe Center will continue to flourish in its conferences as well as in the wonderful plays that Mrs. Owen writes and directs.

Lastly, it’s important to remember that just as a good book or movie can change someone for the better, so too can Catholic plays, if you let God work through you. Let us recall the words of St. Rose of Lima "Know that the greatest service man can offer to God is to help convert souls."

If you know a young adult who would like to help with our August leadership retreat or a family with children who would like to strengthen their faith in the true doctrine of creation and participate in an uplifting play, please encourage them to contact me at We do everything on a suggested donation basis, so if a family cannot afford the suggested donation, but want to attend and help to advance the Kolbe mission, we will gladly welcome them for whatever part of the suggested donation they can afford.

Yours in Christ Our Risen Lord, through the Holy Theotokos, in union with St. Joseph,

Hugh Owen

P.S.  Today is a First Saturday. Please be sure to answer Our Lady’s appeal for the First Saturday devotions as described by the Fatima Center at this link.

P.P.S.  The Kolbe Center has promised our good friend Anthony Nevard, the editor of Daylight Origins magazine, that we would help to preserve his great work by making the complete archive of Daylight magazine available on our website and by posting new issues on the Kolbe website as they become available.  If any of our readers have experience on the web that would allow you to help with this project, please let me know as soon as possible at so that we can complete this important work as quickly as possible.

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