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Father Stu: Self-Destructing Boxer Turned Secular Priest Is Hollywood’s Latest Redemption Film 

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Father Stu: Self-Destructing Boxer Turned Secular Priest Is Hollywood’s Latest Redemption Film

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He was once a troubled man with a promising boxing career, but whose luck never fully turned around – until he found out about his religion.

Stuart Long’s promising boxing career was cut short in 1986 after a blow to the jaw forced him to undergo reconstructive surgery. He was a 24-year-old school graduate at the time and won the Golden Gloves in Montana the year before.

Long determined to try his luck, he quickly disappointed after starring in a few commercials.

When that failed, he became a bouncer at late-night golf clubs and comedy bars in Los Angeles to pay the payouts. A crushing bicycle accident in 1998 while on option to work at a museum landed him in hospital. Long, who didn’t describe himself as a spiritual man for much of his life, noticed an imaginative and prescient of God — and determined to become a priest.

He picked up the fabric and unrolled the phrase before he died of a terminal illness – inclusion body myositis, a rare autoimmune disease that mimics ALS – in 2014.

Now, Hollywood is set to debut its latest redemption film about Long’s life, aptly titled “Father Stu,” on Friday, April 15. It stars Mark Wahlberg, who will paint Long.

“Father Stu’s journey from troublemaker to clergyman has been an inspiration to many, including me,” Wahlberg, who worked six years to get the film made, told Variety.

“I hope with this film we keep his spirit alive and continue his good works.”

The film will also star Mel Gibson, Jacki Weaver and Teresa Ruiz, and was written and directed by Gibson’s girlfriend, Rosalind Ross.

Father Stuart Long was a self-destructive boxer turned failed actor, then later a bouncer who became a priest and died of a terminal illness at the age of fifty.

Father Stu: Self-Destructing Boxer Turned Secular Priest Is Hollywood’s Latest Redemption Film 

 | Top stories

Mark Wahlberg, left, is set to play Father Stuart Long in a biopic of the boxer-turned-priest. Wahlberg had worked for six years to get the film made

Father Stu: Self-Destructing Boxer Turned Secular Priest Is Hollywood’s Latest Redemption Film 

 | Top stories

Walberg turned heads when he was spotted filming earlier this year wearing a plush costume so he could paint Father Long in the last years of his life.

Father Stu: Self-Destructing Boxer Turned Secular Priest Is Hollywood’s Latest Redemption Film 

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Father Long, left, is revered for adhering to his religion and upholding his beliefs while battling a terminal illness that claimed his life at 50

Although he attended Carroll College, a private Catholic university, Long admitted that he was not a spiritual man and only cared about playing for the university’s football team, according to an interview with 2011 with the Diocese of Helena.

“I was not Catholic. I always felt like some kind of outsider,’ Long said as he reflected on the embarrassment he felt whenever the team had to attend Mass together.

Long said he’d rather ask his coach about school and start a hassle, but that all changed when a teacher, Father Jeremiah Sullivan, discovered an option to direct Long’s obvious desire to fight.

Sullivan introduced Long to the college health club and introduced him to boxing, which ignited a spark in Long, who found it far more fulfilling than football.

“Individual sport matches my personality above professional sport. I was a bit rambunctious again at the time,” Long said.

Immediately excelling in the sport, he won the 1985 Golden Gloves heavyweight title in Montana throughout his third year in school and was a runner-up the following year.

After graduating with a degree in English Literature and Writing, Long hoped to begin a lifelong boxing career before a battle forced him to undergo reconstructive jaw surgery.

At the behest of his family, Long gave up acting and moved to Los Angeles with the intention of becoming an actor, but he was quickly disillusioned after starring in a few commercials.

Father Stu: Self-Destructing Boxer Turned Secular Priest Is Hollywood’s Latest Redemption Film 

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Long fell in love with boxing throughout his time at Carroll College. He won the Golden Gloves in Montana throughout his freshman year in 1985, then finished second in 1986. After graduating, a blow to the jaw required him to undergo reconstructive surgery that put end to his promising career.

Father Stu: Self-Destructing Boxer Turned Secular Priest Is Hollywood’s Latest Redemption Film 

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Headshots Father Long that he used when looking for jobs in Los Angeles

Father Stu: Self-Destructing Boxer Turned Secular Priest Is Hollywood’s Latest Redemption Film 

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Before the bicycle accident that introduced an imaginative, prescient God and a conversion to the priesthood, Stuart Long was an aspiring actor, pictured above in a collection of portraits

Father Stu: Self-Destructing Boxer Turned Secular Priest Is Hollywood’s Latest Redemption Film 

 | Top stories

Despite his battle with inclusion body myositis, a particularly rare and terminal autoimmune disease that mimics the signs of ALS, Long continued to be active in his duties as a priest until his death.

He then worked as a bouncer at late-night golf clubs and comedy bars to pay the payouts, and he eventually found steady work at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, where he became a supervisor.

In the 2011 interview, Long said he was sooner or later commuting to work on his bike, which he had bought while playing, when he crashed head-first into a car in the next way.

“Witnesses told sheriffs and reporters I was driving down the freeway and another car passed me,” Long said, “And here I am.”

Long said her miraculous survival was associated with an “unsecular experience,” where God spoke to her and renewed her religion.

When he was baptized in 1998, he felt the decision to become a priest, give up his job and go show for 3 years in Mission Hills, California.

He then served in New York before earning his master’s degree in philosophy at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.

During this time, he underwent surgery on his hip, where doctors discovered a fist-sized tumor in his body and recognized him with physical inclusion body myositis, a particularly rare autoimmune disease. which mimics the signs of ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and for which there is no cure.

Father Stu: Self-Destructing Boxer Turned Secular Priest Is Hollywood’s Latest Redemption Film 

 | Top stories

Wahlberg took 30 pounds to paint Long through the highs and lows of the priest’s life

Father Stu: Self-Destructing Boxer Turned Secular Priest Is Hollywood’s Latest Redemption Film 

 | Top stories

The actor also shaved his head and worse, he painted Long’s last years

He was ordained in 2007 alongside his friend, Father Bart Tolleson, who said Long’s perseverance and story energized and inspired many.

“His conversion is phenomenal, from being an agnostic troublemaker to a mystical encounter with God,” Fr Tolleson told the Catholic Telegraph.

“This cross of his illness was probably the most effective option for serving people,” Tolleson added. “He was tireless in his service and the Lord gave him many amazing objects, of counsel, of offering the sacraments. He was fearless, even if he was limited.

Although Long’s priesthood lasted less than eight years, Bishop George Thomas, who ordained Long, told Patheos he was “incredibly effective” even when he was admitted to Big Sky Care Center, in Montana in 2010.

“I would go see him at the rehab centre, which was actually a rehab nursing home. And it’s not uncommon to have six, eight or ten people lined up outside your room ready to confess,” Thomas said.

Bishop added that he was contacted by Wahlberg several years ago so the actor could find out more about Long. The bishop said he gave the film his blessing.

“I’m really, really excited that he chose to get things done.” The potential for good is just remarkably excessive,” Thomas told Patheos.

“It’s a car for success in uncatechized individuals, unevangelized individuals, for instilling in them, I suppose, I would say, an awareness of the fragility of life, an awareness of our personal mortality, and our awareness of our ability to do good… and positively, Father Stu embodied all of the above.

Father Stu: Self-Destructing Boxer Turned Secular Priest Is Hollywood’s Latest Redemption Film

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