Dr. Phelps was a consultant on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Communications Committee for a decade beginning in 2003, and he was also a member of the Catholic Communications Campaign advisory committee. Over the years he has served as a consultant to several church organizations from Vermont to Texas. In 2008 he was accorded the papal honor of Knighthood in the Order of St. Gregory the Great.
For several years he was an adjunct faculty member in Cardinal Stritch University’s College of Business & Management, and he continues on the faculty of the Rockford Diocesan Theological Institute.
From 1983-2007, Owen served as Director of Communications & Publications for the Catholic Diocese of Rockford, where he was also associate publisher of the diocesan newspaper, The Observer. He resigned from those posts to devote more time to sharing The Catholic Vision for Leading Like Jesus and developing the Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute.
While on the diocesan staff he was a member of the diocese’s Justice & Peace Commission and an ex officio member of the Diocesan Pastoral Council. For many years he co-hosted a weekly live, call-in radio program -- first with Bishop Thomas G. Doran, eighth Bishop of the Rockford Diocese, and later Bishop David J. Malloy, ninth Bishop of Rockford.
Owen was certified as a master catechist by the Rockford Diocese in the 1980s and soon after was awarded the Bishop O'Neill Award in Catechetics for “distinguished service to the Word of God in religious education programs.” More recently he has served as a consultant and/or offered programs to faith-based professional organizations in Baltimore, Boston, Brooklyn, Burlington, Cleveland, Chicago, Dallas, Green Bay, Lexington, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Rockford, San Bernardino, Santa Clara and several other smaller cities in the U.S. He has also presented S3 Jesus-like Leadership programs to priests and laity in Canada, India and Uganda.
Owen’s book The Catholic Vision for Leading Like Jesus: Introducing S³ Leadership—Servant, Steward, Shepherd was published by Our Sunday Visitor Publishing in the spring of 2009. He has written several articles and contributed to two books devoted to issues of faith-based organizational performance: Mission, Marketing & Management: Development Guide for Diocesan Newspapers (1991) and The Mission and Future of the Catholic Press (1998).
He is also author of three other books: The Believer’s Edge, The Secret of Wealth and A Steward's Journey: The Early Years. He currently serves as editor and publisher of The Catholic Leader e-newsletter.
Owen and his wife Jane, a CPA, have five grown and married children who have given them 16 growing grandchildren.
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