I suppose I'm the slow wheel in the crowd - I took all this religion crap on faith well into my mid to late 20's. I was dead serious about it and ended up having a mental breakdown from it. For this reason, and the fact that I missed out on a lot of opportunities as a result, I'm rather bitter towards religious organizations in general for deceiving people and feeding them this bullshit.
Those T's are protective, magical symbols used to ward off the horrible soul-leaching demons that the catholic church has meticulously fabricated with the intention of making x-tains fearfully cling to their inner thighs like a bad case of crabs. Its worth noting that ( ineffective ) x-tain magic is ok, but any other kind of magic comes from the devil and is very very bad.
As for transubstantiation, the best explanation that I got went something like this:
At the climax of the mass - which can only be performed by an ordained catholic priest ( barrier to entry xD ) , the bread (cracker) and watered down wine is transformed in into the literal body and blood of Jesus. Now, although it physically becomes his flesh and blood, it retains the appearance and physical properties of bead and wine. If you put it under a microscope, then you'll see bread and wine but its really Jesus's flesh and blood - physically, literally - not just symbolically.
Now the good x-tain is supposed to say, "Ok, this makes no fucking sense at all, but god is smarter than me... and god is magical and thus for him, anything is possible... so I'll just shut the hell up and accept it at face value. If I do this, then I have faith - which can move mountains.(more fabulous x-tain magic)"
I'm in a somewhat similar situation, TSM. My wife is still catholic, but I've turned atheist. She wants to raise the kids as Catholic for now and then let them decide for themselves later. I'm left biting my tongue out of courtesy. Its a kind of delicate situation and not worth arguing over. For now, I don't blatantly point out the glaring flaws in Catholicism, but rather give them truthful information when asked and show them the logic that supports it. Hopefully, they will learn to question the answers and seek proof and rational explanations in everything they do.