A Vatican-trained exorcist whose experiences inspired a book and a 2011 movie will share some of his experiences with demonic possessions Nov. 27 at the University of Northern Colorado.
The Rev. Gary Thomas, who's been a Catholic priest for 30 years and conducting exorcisms for the past seven, will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, in the ballrooms of the University Center, intersection of 10th Avenue and 20th Street.
The Rite, the film that Thomas inspired, will be shown at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, in the Panorama room in the University Center. Both events are free and open to the public. Free parking in lots adjacent to the UC will be available.
Thomas has conducted exorcisms on 10 people since studying under an Italian exorcist in Rome and being certified by the Vatican. He was asked to study exorcism by the bishop of the Catholic diocese in San Jose, Calif. Thomas is a full-time priest at a church in nearby Saratoga.
The team that assists him with exorcisms includes a medical doctor, a clinical psychologist, a psychiatrist and if needed, a lay person he describes as having a gift for discerning demonic presences.
Thomas used his $25,000 consulting fee from the film to start a fund to help those he sees when they need a referral for mental health or medical services and don't have insurance or the ability to cover the costs.
The film, co-starring Anthony Hopkins, is based on the 2009 book of the same name by journalist Matt Baglio, who attended exorcisms with Thomas while the priest was apprenticing in Rome.
Thomas' appearance and the showing of The Rite are sponsored by Bear Catholic, a chartered student organization on the UNC campus.