Beyond The Beacon episode 58: ‘Hollywood priest’ ministers to the stars and makes films


Paulist Father Tom Gibbons, a New Jersey native, joins Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney and Jai Agnish to discuss ministering in Hollywood while producing and directing films of his own with Paulist Productions. His new documentary “Hollywood Priest: The Story of Fr. ‘Bud’ Kieser” is an entertaining, provocative, and nostalgic chronicle of a visionary who recognized early on the potential of television and film to shape public consciousness. In the documentary, a star-studded cast of actors and writers describe working with Father Kieser and the importance of TV shows and films like “Insight” and “Romero.” Father Kieser’s work was revolutionary in its approach to weaving religious and ethical questions into narratives that appealed to a broad audience, proving that faith-based media could be both engaging and thought-provoking.

“Hollywood Priest: The Story of Fr. ‘Bud’ Kieser” is airing on television and is available to watch on the free PBS app.

Father Gibbons grew up in Washington Township and attended Mass at St. Lawrence the Martyr Church in Chester. He became a priest later at an older age and is now, like Father Kieser before him, working in the movie industry in Hollywood as a Catholic priest. Father Tom is vice president of Paulist Productions: a faith-based production company in the Catholic tradition based in Los Angeles, Calif. that seeks to create media content that reveals God’s presence in the contemporary human experience.

Listen on all major podcast platforms or watch the episode on Bishop Sweeney’s YouTube channel.

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