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‘Naturally Inspiring’: New Book Explores Father Stu’s Legacy

‘Naturally Inspiring’: New Book Explores Father Stu’s Legacy

By Movieguide® Contributor

The real-life inspiration behind FATHER STU is the focus of a new book that details his life and impact on others. 

Father Bart Tolleson, a close friend of Father Stuart Long, wrote, “That Was Father Stu: A Memoir of My Priestly Brother and Friend.” 

A press release about the book calls it “naturally inspiring, insightful, and often humorous,” promising readers some “laugh out loud” moments. It also explores the relationship between Long and Tolleson. 

“Father Bart and Father Stu forged a deep and long-lasting friendship where they challenged each other to grow in holiness and face the challenges of a parish priest,” the release continued. “As the exuberant, edgy Father Stu confronted a rare degenerative disease, the former brawler and professional boxer used every ounce of his declining strength to fight the good fight for souls.”

Mark Wahlberg, who played Long in FATHER STU and served as a producer on the movie, said the book “picks up where the FATHER STU movie leaves off.”

“Father Bart put on the ‘big boy pants’ for this one,” the actor continued. “We come to realize in God’s mercy that Father Stu is still watching out for us.”

A portion of the Movieguide® review reads:

FATHER STU has a powerful Christian worldview about everyone being able to change and be transformed by Jesus Christ. FATHER STU is also a very entertaining, well-made and well-acted movie. It has some witty humor and touching moments that will melt your heart. Toward the end, the story turns directions, and the issues and plotline changes. Despite this, FATHER STU is constantly entertaining. Many media-wise viewers and families, however, will be turned off by the excessive cursing in FATHER STU, which contains many “f” words, several strong profanities and perverse sex. Extreme caution is advised.

The movie was edited to reach a larger demographic and rereleased in the Movieguide® Award nominated FATHER STU: REBORN.

Movieguide® reported:

“We took out all 200 and some odd swears,” star Mark Wahlberg explained. “And the film is still as powerful.”

He continued, “Given the nature of the R-rated movie, lots of families didn’t feel comfortable with their children seeing it, but they really wanted them to get the message. To see Stu’s journey and the struggle that he went through to find his calling, we felt, was really important for people of all ages to see.”

Another way Long’s influence is still being felt? Long’s friends created the nonprofit Beyond 227 after his death as a way to honor his legacy and continue the work he did while he was alive. 

“When we got word they were making the movie about Father Stu, we thought it would be good to keep his mission, some of the things he believed in alive,” Tolleson told the Missoula Current. “How could we do that? We started an organization.”

Beyond 227 does a number of different charitable works, including helping families facing homelessness, sponsoring food drives and supporting seminarians. 

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.