Father Stuart Long wasn’t always a devout follower of Christ. But fate had different ideas for him at a critical juncture in his life. ‘Father Stu,’ written and directed by Rosalind Ross, is a biographical drama film about Stuart and how he inspired many people throughout his life. Mark Wahlberg plays the title character in the film, bringing life to a touching picture of Stuart’s journey. So, if you’re interested in learning more about the priest and his life, you’ve come to the right place.
Father Stu Long: Who Was He?
Stuart grew up in Helena, Montana, where he was born in July 1963. He majored in English at Carroll College in Helena after graduating from high school. Despite the fact that it was a Catholic university, Stuart was not religious and, according to loved ones, was an agnostic at the time. In 1985, he took up boxing and won the heavyweight title in Montana. Stuart was seriously considering turning professional when he suffered a jaw injury.
Stuart Long’s hopes for a boxing career were dashed after he underwent jaw surgery.
Yes. After undergoing jaw surgery, his dream of becoming a professional boxer was dashed. In a 2010 interview, the actual Father Stu revealed, “I had some dental work done on my jaw.” “My teeth are all fake. A substantial section of my upper jaw had to be removed and replaced with a bridge. After that, I attempted to fight once more, but it wasn’t the same. As a result, I had to give it up.”
Stuart came to Los Angeles, California, in 1987 to pursue a career in acting. Despite appearing in advertisements and as a background extra in movies, the big break never arrived. He ended up working odd jobs until 1992, when he had a life-changing experience. Stuart was hit by a car and driven over while riding his motorcycle home late one night. Stuart made a full recovery despite severe injuries and doctors’ predictions that he wouldn’t make it. Stuart was confident that he had not died in vain.
Stuart then joined the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) with the help of his then-girlfriend, Cindy. He continued to learn more about religion and eventually opted to get baptised in 1994. Stuart soon became certain that he was destined to become a priest. He travelled to the Bronx in New York to study with the Franciscan Friars after teaching in a Catholic school in California. Stuart later earned a master’s degree in philosophy and attended an Oregon seminary.
Stuart, however, was dealt yet another setback in 2007 when he was diagnosed with inclusion body myositis. Father Stu’s condition is called inclusion body myositis (IBM). Muscle tissue inflammation, weakness, and atrophy are all symptoms of this degenerative muscle condition. Stuart made a trip to Lourdes, France, in the same year to see a site noted for miraculous healings. He returned with a fresh resolve and belief in his faith, despite the fact that nothing had altered physically. “I know this cancer is going to claim my life,” Stuart wrote to a friend about it. I also know it will be for the glory of God.”
Stuart was ordained and became a priest in December 2007, despite the seminary formators’ initial objections. Despite the disease’s progression and eventual loss of function of his limbs, he never lost his distinctive sense of humour over the next few years. Stuart persisted despite being confined to a wheelchair, inspiring many parishioners in the process. However, by 2010, his health had deteriorated, and he was sent to a Helena care facility.
What Caused Father Stu Long’s Death?
Stuart attempted to maintain his priestly obligations even while residing in the care facility. He said mass with the assistance of others who helped him move his arms to perform the rite. Stuart died in the care home on May 9, 2014, at the age of 50. He died as a result of inclusion body myositis, surrounded by his loved ones. People who knew Stuart wished for him to be made a saint and even lobbied for it, with Wahlberg’s assistance. For the time being, his story is told through ‘Father Stu.’
Stuart was introduced to Mark Wahlberg by one of Stuart’s friends, and the narrative piqued his interest. He eventually met the priest’s family, as a committed Catholic himself. “Hopefully, people just take away the concept that if they’re in a position to do a little bit more and always aim to be a little bit better,” Mark said of the film. Stu, I believe, wanted to entertain people and make them laugh. Obviously, it’s a really emotional story, but ultimately, it’s an emotional one that pushes people to be their best selves, and his work will go on long after the film is out.”
Amy Trisdale, Stuart’s sister, also mentioned the similarities between her brother and Mark. “Mark is down to earth and doesn’t put on any airs,” she continued. That was entirely Stu’s fault. He never judged people based on their social status. They were both self-assured and smiled a lot. And they each have interesting backstories.” Stuart was also a big fan of Mel Gibson, who plays Stuart’s father in the film.
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