The Most Influential Priest In American History? It’s Possible…

by Movie Reviews and Recommendations, Social Justice

Father Theodore Hesburgh is best known for his role as president of the prestigious University of Notre Dame over the course of 35 years from 1952-1987, but his role in the culture of America during some of the country’s most tumultuous times is what he will be remembered for in the history books.

The newly released film HESBURGH tells the inspiring story of Fr. Ted’s role in American politics, the civil rights movement, the University of Notre Dame, and the Catholic Church. Director Patrick Creadon powerfully conveys the positive influence that Fr. Ted had in promoting peace, justice, and equality for all.

Though Fr. Ted advised several presidents, foreign leaders, celebrities, religious and political figures, the film makes it clear that his allegiance was first and foremost to God. HESBURGH truly shows Fr. Ted’s devotion to the priesthood and his desire to fulfill his God-given mission. It is clear that he cared deeply for all those he encountered, from the Pope to the students of Notre Dame. He sought to promote the dignity of all people and showed that through his personal relationships.


Questions For Reflection:

  • What can we learn from Fr. Ted’s willingness to take a stand, even when his reputation and career were at stake?
  • Do you agree with Fr. Ted’s philosophy that all sides should be given a chance to share their views? Why or why not?
  • In what ways did Fr. Ted’s life and witness inspire you?

HESBURGH is now available to purchase on DVD and VOD. The DVD and VOD release of HESBURGH  will contain bonus features including extended interviews and rarely seen commencement speeches from President Dwight Eisenhower, Martin Luther King, Jr and others.

Find out more on the MUSIC BOX FILMS website at:

“We don’t prove anything by burning something down. We prove something by building it up.”  – Fr. Theodore Hesburgh

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