A Valley Priest Shares His Own Version Behind ‘Father Stu’

Father Killian McCaffrey met Father Stu in 2003 while attending Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon.

SUN CITY, Ariz. – “My first impression of Stu was that he was a really good guy, he was good at bringing people together,” Pastor Killian McCaffrey said.

McCaffrey, a priest at Saint Elizabeth Seton Parrish in Sun City, shared his story behind ‘Father Stu’ – a film capturing the trials and tribulations of a young man who used his own second chance, as a chance to help the others to find their own way through a call from the Catholic Church.

With a genuine ability to essentially gather a congregation outside of a church, Pastor McCaffrey knew incredible things would happen for “Father Stu.”

McCaffery and Stu first met in 2003 at Mount Angel Seminary, but Father Stu’s religious journey wasn’t always his top priority.

“It was at the time of his baptism that he was hit by a tsunami of grace,” McCaffery added.

Father Stu, played by Mark Wahlberg, tells the story of his personal obstacles on his way to the Catholic Church and being able to use his second chance to help others.

Pastor McCaffrey added that although Stu’s Catholic conversion began with a young love, it lingered with a true calling.

“He said how do I become a Catholic, she said you have to take these classes called RCIA, so he went along and jumped through the hoops, you know, just to get the girl,” he said. -he explains.

History spoke to Wahlberg, prompting the film and his personal visit to the Diocese of Phoenix for a private screening.

While Father Stu, the former amateur boxer and survivor of a motorcycle accident knew how to fight and move on, Pastor McCaffrey reminded him to stay receptive.

“The battle has begun, but we don’t want to fight God because we’re going to lose,” Pastor McCaffrey said.

Unfortunately, within a decade of their time at the seminary, Father Stu contracted a rare disease called inclusion body myositis. However, says Pastor McCaffrey, those who knew Stu knew he was destined to be ordained.

“There were so many concerns about his health, the seminary didn’t want to recommend him, they didn’t recommend he be ordained,” McCaffery said. “It was really a leap of faith for Bishop Thomas to do that, but he knew Stu was a genuine, honest and good man.”

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