Mark Wahlberg planning biopic of ex-boxer who became a beloved priest

(Catholic Herald) Mark Wahlberg is an unusual figure in Hollywood: an acting superstar who says “Being a Catholic is the most important aspect of my life”, and that he can’t start the day without 10 minutes of prayer.

Now he is preparing for his most Catholic role yet: he will play Fr Stuart Long, an American priest and former boxer who died in 2014 at the age of 50.

Wahlberg announced on Wednesday that he is teaming up with his long-term collaborator, director David O Russell, on a screenplay about the priest’s life.

Fr Long had retired from prizefighting after a boxing injury forced him to have major reconstructive surgery on his jaw.

He subsequently became a museum manager. Then his life was turned upside down by a motorcycle accident in which he nearly died.

His search for truth led him to the Church, and then to seminary. But even before his ordination in 2007, Fr Long was struck by inclusion body myositis, a rare autoimmune disease. Much weakened, and moving around in a power chair, Fr Long continued his priestly ministry, becoming (as a local Catholic newspaper, Angelus, says) “a beloved priest, confessor and friend to countless people”. [More]


Catholic Herald