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A Hollywood feature film will be made about the boxer turned priest, Father Stuart Long.This sounds awesome! Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson to star in new film about boxer turned priest, Father Stuart Long. Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson will star in a movie about Father Stuart Long, a late priest of the Diocese of Helena in Montana.  Wahlberg will portray Father Stu, while Gibson will portray the priest's father, Bill Long. Wahlberg will partially finance the film.

Discovering the Call 

Father Stuart, or  Father Stu as many called him, was a boxer, actor, teacher, and museum manager before he discovering his call to the priesthood. Upon facing death after hit by a car, Father Stu said he had a religious experience in the hospital and later converted to Catholicism. He realized his call to the priesthood during his baptism. Father Stu entered seminary in 2003 and was ordained a diocesan priest in 2007.

"His conversion is phenomenal, from being an agnostic troublemaker to having a mystical encounter with God," friend of Father Stu and Helena Diocesan priest Father Bart Tolleson told  the Catholic News Agency (CNA). "Then, he decided to become a priest."

Tumor in His Body 

While in seminary, doctors diagnosed Father Stu with inclusion body myositis after removing a fist-sized tumor from his hip. The rare inflammatory disease causes muscle damage and weakness. The disease caused the slowing down of his body, even at his 2007 ordination. "That cross of his disease was the most powerful way to serve people," said Father Tolleson.

"He was tireless in his service and the Lord gave him many beautiful gifts, of counsel, of providing the sacraments. He was fearless even though he was limited." Father Stu died in 2014 at the age of 50.

Filmmakers told the Diocese of Helena, as well as Bill Long (Father Stu's dad), that the movie will do honor to the late priest. "It certainly will take liberties with the story, but it will get interest in his life, and that alone is a good thing," Father Tolleson explained. "It’s a great story."

Mark Wahlberg briefly explains the movie in the interview here.

What are your thoughts about the upcoming movie?

+JMJ+

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