Catholic Studies Adjunct Professor Dr. Stacy Trasancos, a nationally known author, speaker, and educator on the topic of faith and science, has published a highly anticipated new book that promises to help today's Catholics appreciate the relationship between faith and science as they approach the mystery of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
In this book that Dr. Trasancos wrote with Fr. George Elliott, Behold, It is I, published by TAN Books, the authors demonstrate, using science and philosophical theology, that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist.
"Dr. Trasancos's extensive study of theology and chemistry are both clearly evident in this book," said Dr. Ines Murzaku, Director of Catholic Studies.
"Dr. Trasancos's courses are very popular with our students because students appreciate the opportunity to see how faith and reason work together as ‘two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth,' as St. John Paul II stated. We are most fortunate to have her as a faculty member, and all those who read this book are sure to find that it enriches and deepens their faith and understanding."
The book is divided into three sections according to the types of evidence Fr. Elliott and Dr. Trasancos use to argue for the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The first section uses Scripture to argue for a holistic and contextual reading of the Bible that points to Jesus meaning what He said at the Last Supper: "This is my body" and "This is . . . my blood." The second section is on the early Fathers of the Church. The earliest Fathers of the Church were either the disciples of the apostles themselves, or the disciples of the apostles' disciples. Their testimony to the Church's faith and the interpretation of Scriptures interpretation is compelling because of their proximity to the apostles.
In the third section, Dr. Trasancos examines three of the most well-known reports of alleged Eucharistic miracles: Bolsena (Italy) in 1263; Buenos Aires (Argentina) in the 1990s; and Lanciano (Italy) in the 700s, including a review of the famous Linoli Report. Dr. Trasancos's analysis includes appraisal for and against the scientific claims about each of these Eucharistic miracles, with awareness that faith in science can never be as certain as faith in Christ. The data from the reports of these three Eucharistic miracles, which for various reasons is inconclusive, begs the ultimate question of the certainty of faith.
The book was inspired by the excitement of a child, Annie Paniagua, when she researched the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Annie's parents shared Annie's research on the Real Presence with Bishop Joseph Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas. Bishop Strickland sent the video to Dr. Trasancos, hoping that in her role as executive director of the St. Philip Institute, she would consider giving a presentation to the people of the Diocese of Tyler. The resulting talks led Father George Elliott and Dr. Trasancos to the idea of writing this book. Annie's mother, Kristina, later remarked, "It's a good reminder to me that the little things have the potential to make a big impact."
"Something as small as a host can, indeed, be as immense as the love of God," remarked Dr. Murzaku. "I know that many members of our Seton Hall community are eager to read this book and continue the conversation started by the spark of faith and excitement of a young girl in Texas and continued by the scholarly and approachable Fr. Elliott and Dr. Trasancos."
Categories: Faith and Service