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Mark Wahlberg as Father Stu

Mark Wahlberg’s faith-based “Father Stu” rereleased as PG-13

Some viewers stayed away from Mark Wahlberg’s faith-based movie “Father Stu” earlier this year because of its strong language. The true story is back in theaters, but this time in a PG-13 version.

The movie received high marks for its transformational theme of grace and redemption. Based on a true story, it was originally aimed at non-Christian audiences with those themes in mind but some in the faith community felt they couldn’t get beyond the gritty language.

We took out all 200 and some-odd swears,” Wahlberg told media outlets. “And the film is still as powerful. Given the nature of the R-rated movie, lots of families didn’t feel comfortable with their children seeing it, but they really wanted them to get the message, To see Stu’s journey and the struggle that he went through to find his calling, we felt, was really important for people of all ages to see.”

Wahlberg portrays Father Stuart “Stu” Long, a former boxer who moves to Los Angeles in hopes of becoming a movie star. One mop commercial later, Stu’s showbiz days come to an unceremonious end and he instead sets his sights on Carmen, a Sunday school teacher who seems immune to his bad-boy charms Hoping to woo her into a relationship, he starts attending church regularly. Things take a drastic turn when Stu gets into a motorcycle accident and in the aftermath of his recovery, decides to become a Catholic priest and devote his life to helping others.”

Wahlberg especially wants young boys to see the movie.

“We want to prevent kids from making a lot of the same mistakes that we made — certainly mistakes that I made,” he said. “So anything that we can do to kind of show them an easier path to serving God and just being positive, productive members of society.”

The actor, who is a devout Catholic himself, previously said it was “his calling” and his “mission,” to get this movie made .

“The reason why Father Stu was so effective was because he was authentic,” Wahlberg said about the inspiration for the film. “He was speaking the truth from experience, and that’s invaluable. He’s such a remarkable man. It was an honor for me to portray him in the film and to tell his story.”

–Dwight Widaman | MV

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