That Was Father Stu

A Memoir of My Priestly Brother and Friend



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Product Details

Product Code:
0.75 (in)
Size (HxW):
8 x 5.38 (in)
Publication date:
September 12, 2023
10.8 oz
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Product Overview

This inspiring, insightful, and often humorous look at the life of Father Stuart Long is told by his close friend Father Bart Tolleson. After their relationship began and almost ended with a practical joke, the two men were ordained together and forged a strong, lasting friendship. As the exuberant, edgy Father Stu confronted a rare degenerative disease, the former brawler and professional boxer used every ounce of his declining strength to fight the good fight for souls.

Also included in this book is the enduring legacy of Father Stu, whose moving story continues to draw people closer to God, especially in times of suffering. His life inspired actor Mark Wahlberg to produce the film drama Father Stu, in which Wahlberg plays the title role. Father Bart, who was consulted by the makers of the film, provides interesting background on the movie.

Illustrated with many photos.

Editorial Reviews

"It picks up where the Father Stu movie leaves off. Father Bart put on the 'big boy pants' for this one. We come to realize in God's mercy that Father Stu is still watching out for us."
— Mark Wahlberg, Actor and Producer, Father Stu

"Written from the unique perspective that only a brother priest could provide, Father Bart's book provides a new, insightful look at the remarkable faith-filled life and death of his friend Father Stuart Long. Father Stu had only one goal as a priest: to help bring people closer to Jesus and his Church. This fine biography and memoir will surely do the same."
— Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York

"Though many have been introduced to Father Stuart Long through the film Father Stu, this intimate portrayal offers what Paul Harvey would call 'the rest of the story'. A beautiful reflection on the joys and sorrows, struggles and triumphs of priestly life. It is full of hope and humor and humanity."
— Most Rev. Paul Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City

"This memoir makes readers aware that Christ continues to make saints in our times, mystics who live the everyday realities with intense love and humble sacrifice. This poignant story of grace proves that God transforms his disciples through the crucible of his love."
— Sr. Nancy Usselmann, F.S.P., Director, Pauline Center for Media; Author, A Sacred Look: Becoming Cultural Mystics

"Father Stu was a wonderful film, but this much more personal portrait of the late and very real Father Stuart Long, his struggle with a terminal illness and his uplifting impact on so many others, is superior in every way: thorough, intimate, and moving. It's a marvelous read."
— Francis X. Maier, Senior Fellow, Catholic Studies, Ethics and Public Policy Center

"Father Stu was one of those priests who, as Pope Francis says, smelled like the sheep. He understood suffering because he had so many struggles himself and yet refused to let the troubles hold him back. Father Bart's memoir has the potential to be a powerful source of renewal, encouragement, and especially evangelization."
— Teresa Tomeo, Host, EWTN's Catholic Connection; Author, Extreme Makeover

"A holy blue-collar priest who each day climbed Calvary until his blue whale–sized heart finally stopped. In his intimate narrative, Father Stu's close priest friend opens up an omnibus on the blow-by-blow value of redemptive suffering. Father Stu was a man willing to suffer each day for his flock and Jesus Christ."
— Kevin Wells, Author, Priest and Beggar: The Heroic Life of Venerable Aloysius Schwartz


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  • 5
    Fr Stu memoir

    Posted by Bridget Patko on Dec 8th 2023

    This is such a wonderful ,well written book ! I absolutely loved it . If I wasn’t crying I was laughing out loud . It is also very inspirational , has made me want to be a better person everyday ! Such a wonderful tribute to a dear friend, Fr Bart!!

  • 5
    The movie doesn't do the story justice

    Posted by Ron on Nov 4th 2023

    This book is outstanding. I appreciate what Mark Wahlberg did to bring the story to a large audience, but he and the script writer should have stayed closer to the actual story.

  • 5
    That Ws Father Stu

    Posted by Amy on Sep 22nd 2023

    Father Bart bared his soul to give us a glimpse of the brotherly love and deep friendship between he and Stu. I knew they were very close but reading this memoir gave me a whole new respect and understanding of just how much they took care of each other…and still do. Thank you.