The movie we all need right now
It’s rare to see God at the box office. But the film Father Stu – about a boxer-turned-Catholic-priest – is drawing significant crowds and a lot of attention for a faith-based film.
So far the movie – featuring actors Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson and Jacki Weaver – has grossed over $US14 million (about $A19.6 million) since its release in the US on April 13, 2022, during Holy Week (between Palm Sunday and Easter). And on May 12, Father Stu will be released in Aussie cinemas.
Father Stu is the brainchild of Mark Wahlberg himself. And it is for him what The Passion of the Christ was for Mel Gibson – a personal labour of love. Wahlberg poured “millions and millions” of his own dollars, as well as six years, into the making of Father Stu. Why? Because he felt called by God to make it.
“I’ve always been kind of thinking about: How do I continue to pay for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me?” Wahlberg, a devout Catholic, told National Catholic Register.
“I know God didn’t put me in this position to kind of forget about where I came from. I’ve been doing lots of stuff in my own community where I grew up and worked with inner-city kids and at-risk youth. But he doesn’t give you the gifts and the talents until it’s time to utilise [them] in the right way — and for him and not for yourself. So I’ve always been kind of saying, ‘Okay, what is my mission? What is my purpose?’ And planting the seed, letting it blossom, and then utilising that to continue to spread his word.”
It was while having dinner with two priest friends that Wahlberg received his ‘divine purpose’. One of the priests pitched him an idea: to make a movie about the life of Stuart Long, an agnostic boxer in the 1980s who converted to Catholicism and eventually became a priest after nearly dying in a motorcycle accident. Despite a devastating health crisis and the scepticism of church officials and his estranged parents (Mel Gibson and Jacki Weaver), Stu pursues his vocation with courage and compassion, inspiring many along the way.
It was a story that resonated with Wahlberg, who also was redeemed from his troubled past by focusing on his faith.
But getting the story to the screen was a fraught process. Wahlberg received several knockbacks from scriptwriters and production companies. So, as well as dipping into his own wallet, Wahlberg also turned to prayer.
“I prayed about it and prayed about it. And I said, ‘No, I have to do this. This is my calling. There’s a very specific reason why I’ve been called to do this,’” he told National Catholic Register.
Wahlberg also turned to fellow Catholic and film producer Mel Gibson: “I asked Mel if I could sit down with him and talk to him. I was picking his brain about how he got The Passion made and all the obstacles … all the obstacles that he had to face and why he was compelled to finance it himself and…
Read Full Story At: Eternity News.