Tim Francis, a nationally-known speaker who travels the country to help Catholics gain a deeper understanding of Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist, will be at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Casa Grande, Arizona on October 23, 24, 25, and 26. It will be at 3-5:30 pm on Sunday Oct. 23, and 6-8:30 pm on Monday Oct. 24, Tuesday Oct. 25, and Wednesday Oct. 26.

The presentations will feature information on Eucharistic miracles that have been studied by scientists and shown to be authentic. Francis will also talk about the role of Eucharistic miracles in his reversion back to the Catholic Faith. He said that, although he was raised in a devout Catholic family, the Eucharist was not uppermost in his mind when he attended Mass.

“I grew up in a small town in Ohio, one of six kids. We never missed Mass,” Francis said. “Like so many kids, as soon as I went off to college, I left the Church behind. I had more time for football than I did for Church.” After moving to Dallas, Texas, and marrying his wife, who was not raised in any faith, he got involved in a large evangelical Church and began attending Bible studies. However, his mother continued to send him information on the Catholic faith. “She said, ‘All I want you to understand is what you’re giving up,’” Francis said.

Through her, he became familiar with prominent Catholic converts and apologists, including Marcus Grodi, a former Protestant pastor who started the Coming Home Network, as well as Tim Staples of the Augustine Institute, and well-known EWTN host Father Mitch Pacwa. After extensive study, Francis returned to the practice of the Catholic faith, but his wife remained skeptical. “I came back to the faith intellectually, but my wife wanted nothing to do with it,” he said. However, a turning point came in 1999, when he watched a television show titled “Signs from God: Science Tests Faith.” The show featured a well-known investigative journalist from Australia examining several phenomena that seemed to have no natural explanation to determine if they were miracles or hoaxes.

They included a consecrated host that was left sitting in water and turned into heart tissue and a woman in Bolivia who experiences the stigmata —wounds of Christ’s passion — for three hours on Fridays. The next day, the wounds are completely healed. Although initially skeptical, the journalist came to believe that what he was witnessing were true miracles. The show had a profound impact on Francis as well. Over the next decade, Francis came to realize that the Catholic faith was not just an intellectual exercise but a means for personally encountering Christ in the sacraments.

His wife also became Catholic. “It went from the head to the heart,” he said. “I started going to daily Mass and confession. I learned about the great mystics of the Church and gained a deep appreciation of the authority of the Catholic Church.  “I also came to believe that the Catholic Church has tremendous gifts called the sacraments, but very few people are taking advantage of them. It was like this hidden treasure,” he said.

Since 2009, Francis has been working to spread the message of Christ’s real presence and has spoken at hundreds of parishes around the country. All are welcome and it will be well worth the trip to St. Anthony’s in Casa Grande to attend this event.