[Video] Incredible Story: Friend of Fulton Sheen, Alcoholic, Priest of Mercy

A few months back, I wrote about the death of one of my closest friends, Fr. Ed Thompson. He passed away in February at 92 years old, the oldest active priest in the Diocese of Orlando.

He was a spiritual giant with a massive legacy. He served for over 20 years at our parish, St. Mary Magdalen in Altamonte Springs, FL, and was extremely close to our family: he married me and Kathleen, baptized our children, and served as my confessor ever since I became Catholic in 2008. He and I met weekly for instruction, prayer, and spiritual conversation. We spent hundreds of hours together over the past decade.

All who met Fr. Ed were struck by his deep faith and mercy. But few knew his whole story.

Shortly before he died, Fr. Ed allowed me to capture that remarkable story on video. He shared many things that he had only revealed to a few people during his life, including:

  • Why his mother was advised to abort him and his twin brother, David, but chose not to despite guaranteed suffering
  • Why he became a priest even though his parents and pastor discouraged him
  • His mother’s miraculous recovery from arthritis the day he went off to seminary
  • His experiences meeting Fulton Sheen and the time Sheen borrowed one of his jokes!
  • His harrowing battle with alcoholism, which got him kicked out of the priesthood
  • The inexplicable phone call from a person he hadn’t spoken to in 30 years that turned his life around
  • The one lesson he wanted to impart after 60+ years of being a Catholic priest

I know we live in a YouTube generation where 2-3 minute videos are the norm. But carve out twenty minutes today or tonight and listen to this magnificent story. It’s worth it. It will lift your heart. You’ll be inspired, filled with hope, and you’ll struggle to hold back tears (I know I did.)

Watch video → https://youtu.be/HG2tVVMid-Q

(If you’re reading this via email and don’t see the video, click here.)

PS. Thanks to the amazing Sean Beeson for composing such a great musical score for the video! What a gift you are.