A Man Called Francis - book?

Has anyone here ever read this book? I never heard of this man before or his story, do you think its real?


Seems like it would be a good book, but I’m just not sure.

I have not heard of this man or this book… Would be interested if his story is on the up and up…

Yes I have heard of Francis, a good and faithful man and has passed away, the book by Fr. Fox is on the up and up… He was on EWTN in 2003 - see below.


ESCANABA - Irving C. “Francis” Houle, 83, 1108 7th Ave S., Escanaba, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009, at Marquette General Hospital.

He was born on Dec. 27, 1925, in Wilson, the son of Peter and Lillian (Bennett) Houle. Irving was raised in Wilson and attended Harris High School before moving to Escanaba in 1942. He graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1944.

The day following graduation, Irving entered the U.S. Army. While serving his country, he received the European, African, Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the American Theater Service Medal. He was honorably discharged on June 20, 1946.

On Nov. 17, 1948, Irving married the former Gail LaChapelle at St. Joseph Church in Escanaba.

Over the years, Irving was employed with Robert’s Shoes, Montgomery Ward, Northern Chemical Supply, Harnischfeger Corporation, and worked for 15 years at EMP as the first plant manager.

He was a member of St. Joseph and St. Patrick’s Church and was active with the Knights of Columbus.

While he was a 3rd degree Knight, he was the Grand Knight and also the District Deputy prior to his installation as a 4th degree Knight.

He was a religious man that prayed with many people. A book, “A Man Called Francis” was written by Fr. Robert J. Fox on his Gift from God.



Irving enjoyed gardening, sports, and spending time with his family.

Among the survivors include his wife of 60 years, Gail; daughter, Margo (Brian) Rout of Columbus, Ind.; four sons, Steve (Peggy) of Escanaba, Peter (Mark Levesque) of Philadelphia, Pa., John (Lori) of Escanaba, and Matt (Salli) of Gladstone; seven grandchildren, Jodi, Jason, Jennifer, Stephanie, Jared, Jerilyn, and Ian; four great-grandchildren, Cole, Taylor, Jersie, and Cooper; brother, Robert (Colleen) Houle of Chelsie, Mich.; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Ray, Donald, Reyn, and Al; and sister, Gladys.

Visitation will be on Wednesday, Jan. 7, from noon to 6 p.m. at St. Joseph and St. Patrick Church in Escanaba.

The Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 6 p.m. with Rev. Eric Olson officiating. A meal will be served following the Mass in the church fellowship hall.

Burial will be in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund in Irving’s name will be established by the family at a later date. Envelopes will be available at the church and funeral home.

The Crawford Funeral Homes are assisting the Houle family with arrangements.

In 2003 Francis was also on EWTN for a program called “RECLAIMING YOUR CHILDREN FOR THE CATHOLIC FAITH” hosted by Fr. Fox below is link to a mp3 audio (30minutes) for episode#8 of the program called “The Church of New Covenant - The Cross”


”Francis”, relates the life of a married man in the United States who bears the wound marks of Jesus Christ on his hands. He undergoes the events surrounding the Suffering and Death of Jesus Christ each night of the year, more pronounced on all the Fridays of the year and during Lent, and with greater intensity during Holy Week.

Extensive references to Sacred Scripture will help you understand why and how Francis has been chosen to become a ‘living sacrifice’ and how the same should apply to every Christian.

The readers of this book will be inspired to greater devotion to the Sufferings of Jesus Christ which can be experienced in the devout making of the Way of the Cross. This book, prayerfully read, will lead to a great love of and adoration for the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, present with His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the tabernacles throughout the world.

I have the book at home—He is from the UP of Michigan. I work with a man whose family has met Mr. Houle

I just learned this evening about “Francis’” death. I attended a prayer service he was at several years ago, and was very much impressed with how kind, gentle and loving he was. When it was my turn to come forward for prayers, I asked that he pray for my daughter’s return to the faith.

She told me at Chrismas that she and her husband are working on getting their marriage blessed in the Church and are in the RCIA program.

My he rest in peace.

I have not read this book, but I liked in the Diocese of Marquette, Michigan where he lived. Bishop Sample allowed for him to have healing services at parishes within the diocese where many people would go and receive both spiritual and physical healings. He passed away at the Marquette General hospital, a young priest friend of mine gave him his last rites, and told me that the man’s hands were covered and that the nurses all thought he was out of his mind. He did bear the wounds of Christ, and was a humble married man.

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