Director Christopher Foley spoke about Across: The Father Tolton Movie to a full house at the Catholic Family News conference last week. The annual gathering took place in the Chicago area, which was also the site of Tolton's apostolate in the last part of the 19th century. In conjunction with the the conference, CFN published an article in the April edition introducing their readership to both 'Father Gus' himself and the film.
Foley took questions about the plan to turn the project into a feature-length movie. He explained how Tolton suffered much in his quest to become the first African-American priest. "His courageous example is a shining example to people of all races and all times," Foley remarked.
Foley was introduced to the article's author, Susan Vennari, through her 90-year-old mother, Joan Hoffsommer. The director and his wife had been driving Mrs. Hoffsommer to church each week as she suffered through a debilitating leg infection. At his suggestion, she had decided to pray for Father Tolton's intercession to restore her health. She recovered so quickly that she decided to write her story down for the committee who is considering Tolton for sainthood.