Fall Open House 2024 is Sunday, October 27th

An Interview with Michael O’Neill

Willows Academy presents, “Eucharistic Miracles: True Flesh, True Blood” featuring Michael O’Neill on April 11 @ 7pm. Read our interview with Michael below.

Why do you think a school like the Willows is important in today’s educational landscape? 

The Willows is a unique school that prepares its students both academically and spiritually for life beyond its walls. Today’s world is an ever-changing and ever-challenging place, and the Willows equips girls with the skills and character-building needed for success in life.

How did you get connected with Willows Academy? 

I am a graduate of Willows’ brother school, Northridge Prep (Class of 1994). My sister Maureen attended the Willows, so I have had a longstanding connection with the school and long-time friendships with some graduates.
My nieces are also current Willows students.

What do you hope families walk away with from this talk? 

For Catholics, belief in the Real Presence is one of the most challenging aspects of our Faith. According to various research polls, only 30% of Catholics believe it, which is why the US Bishops have initiated the National Eucharistic Revival. There are many ways to re-ignite one’s faith, but I believe the science behind Eucharistic miracles is truly eye-opening and compelling. I hope that people are inspired to a deeper faith in the Eucharist.

Why do you think it would be beneficial to attend? 

Both students and parents alike would benefit from learning about the science behind the miracles of the Eucharist. If they’ve never heard of this before, it will be knowledge that can have a true impact on one’s faith.

Can you tell us a little bit about your educational background and how it led you into your field of work? 

After graduating from Northridge, I went on to study Mechanical Engineering and Product Design at Stanford. Life can be funny in the directions it takes you and I never set out to create a career studying, investigating or spreading the word on miracles but this is the path that I was led down. There may not be too strong a connection between my academic studies and my career in the end, but my love of data and the need for evidence probably took hold in my study of science and engineering.

You’ve spoken on your research in both Catholic and secular media. Have you encountered much controversy, opposition, or misunderstanding in your line of work? How do you respond? 

I’ve been interviewed in a wide array of media outlets, and it always seems that people are both truly fascinated by the topic and that someone would dedicate their whole life to it. I think on some level everyone is interested in miracles – for believers they provide a boost of faith and for others it is a curiosity. Even atheists and skeptics must have an explanation for the unexplainable. 

What are some of the most common issues you feel like you’ve come across in regards to your work?  

It seems that non-Catholic Christians are exclusively focused on healing miracles and aren’t ready to consider the full collection of Catholic ones (Marian apparitions, incorruptible saints, Eucharistic miracles, etc). Maybe that would necessitate becoming Catholic! And amongst Catholics you see a wide variation in the emphasis the faithful put on miracles. This is exactly how it should be. The Catholic Church does not require belief in miracles that have happened outside of the Gospels and leaves it up to the individuals as to how much focus they would like to place on them in their lives of faith. If miracles are found to be too strange, complicated or distracting, Catholics can safely disregard them, although I find authentic cases of miracles to be inspiring to many.

What are changes or trends in the years that you have been in the field? 

Examining the data shows that the 1980s and early 1990s saw the biggest spike in centuries in the claims of miraculous phenomena. But even today, there are people experiencing miracles all around the world.

What do you think is the most challenging aspect of faith life today, particularly as a teenager? 

Living as a Catholic today requires supernatural faith and that can be difficult in a modern world so focused on science. For me, that is one of the beautiful aspects of Eucharistic Miracles in particular as they are the very rare type of miracle that can be validated by science.

Willows Academy presents “Eucharistic Miracles: True Flesh, True Blood” featuring Michael O’Neill. Join us April 11 at 7PM. Wine and cheese will be provided and the event will be followed by a book sale.

Michael O’Neill is an award-winning author, EWTN television and radio host, and creator of the popular miracle-tracking website, MiracleHunter.com. O’Neill, a graduate of Stanford University and member of the Mariological Society of America, has been interviewed about his research numerous times onCatholic and secular media like the History Channel, NatGeo, NBC Today and The Dr. Oz Show. He was the consultant for theNational Geographic magazine cover story and map about the Virgin Mary “The Most Powerful Woman in the World” (December 2015). O’Neill is the author of several books including “Science and the Miraculous” (Tan 2022), “They Might Be Saints” (EWTN Publishing 2021) and the Catholic Media Award-winning “Virgin, Mother, Queen” (Ave Maria Press 2019). On EWTN, he is the radio host of the Gabriel Award-winning weekly (Saturdays 7pm ET) radio program “The Miracle Hunter®”and the television host and executive producer of the weekly (Fridays 5pm ET) docuseries “They Might Be Saints” about the lives and intercessory miracles of future American saints(Wednesdays 9am ET) and the weekly (Saturdays 6pm ET) travel series “Explore with the Miracle Hunter” now with over 50 episodes filmed.