This fall, Fr. Bart Tolleson of the Diocese of Helena released That Was Father Stu: A Memoir of My Priestly Brother and Friend through Ignatius Press, which chronicles the life and ministry of the late Father Stuart Long, a fellow priest for the Diocese of Helena that passed away of a terminal illness in 2014, and whose larger-than-life story inspired the film Father Stu, starring Mark Wahlberg.
Fr. Tolleson is currently the pastor at Our Lady of the Valley Parish, as well as the Director of Deacons, Deacon Formation, and Clergy Formation. Fr. Tolleson met Fr. Stu in their seminarian studies, and quickly struck up a friendship which would bless and inspire them both throughout their priesthood, and beyond.
The book includes Stu’s backstory in greater detail, and with more fidelity, than what the film could provide within a two-hour runtime. Fr. Tolleson then moves after their ordination to share stories of their ministry as priests together, walking through Stu’s final years and his death, and ending with accounts of people who have experienced incredible blessings from his intercession. Both immensely funny and deeply moving, these stories show the impact that Fr. Stu had, and continues to have, as he worked to let the Lord use him and his suffering for the mission of bringing hearts to Christ.
Watch our full video interview with Fr. Bart in the video player above. That Was Father Stu: A Memoir of My Priestly Brother and Friend is now available in physical copy, eBook, and audiobook formats.