Father Stu (Reborn) Inspires Theology Students at NDA

Jayden Smits, Guest Writer, Advanced Journalism

The 2022 film Father Stu (Reborn) is an incredible, must-see piece brought to me by Fr. Jordan’s class. The striking film, written and directed by Rosalind Ross, is a biography piece following the life and conversion of Stuart Long. The movie did a great job of keeping you attentive with its universal humor, heavy drama, and the story in general. The film opens with Stuart Long, played by Mark Wahlberg, preparing for his boxing fight. He is seen as a tremendous underground fighter, but overzealous and cocky. When he went to a routine visit, his doctor recommended he stop fighting. 

He became upset and punched a concrete statue of Jesus. This tells us that no matter how much we try to push Jesus away, he will always be there for us. This theme connects down the road of the movie when he moves to California to become an actor. Unsuccessful, he begins to work at a supermarket and chases a devout Catholic girl. To win her over, he goes to the church and is baptized after his years of atheism. Through stress and change, he drinks heavily, striking another vehicle, and  experiences the Blessed Virgin Mary comforting him while he bleeds on the road. We can still feel the embrace of God and Mary in our darkest moments. 

He begins to attend more Masses and ends up pursuing the vocation of priesthood. He takes the process seriously and stays up countless hours getting everything right. Just as everything seems to go right, Stu’s health deteriorates, and he begins questioning God. This situation made Stuart stronger in faith and character. 

Due to Stu’s illness, the rector of the seminary informed Stu that there was turmoil. When it felt like all his work was for nothing, he crawled down the aisle of the church to the Blessed Virgin Mary one last time, trusting in Mary to comfort and intercede for him. Despite the many setbacks in his life, ultimately, we see that Stu continued to live a God-filled life. We see God’s grace throughout the movie and can compare it to our own lives. Even the smallest things can be gifts from God.