Shia LaBeouf Provides Update On His Conversion To Catholicism: “I’m Scheduled To Be Confirmed In Seven Months”

Shia LaBeouf as Padre Pio in Padre Pio (2023), Gravitas Ventures

Actor Shia LaBeouf, who portrays Padre Pio in the upcoming Padre Pio film, recently provided an update on his conversion to Catholicism.

Shia LaBeouf via Hai Ho OFMCap’s Facebook

LaBeouf revealed back in August 2022 that he was converting to Catholicism with Bishop Robert Barron of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester in Minnesota.

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LaBeouf told Barron that his conversion came when he was at one of the lowest points in his life and had been approached by director Abel Ferrara to make a film about the life of Padre Pio.

While doing research on Padre Pio’s life at the Province of St. Mary of the Capuchin Order, LaBeouf detailed, ““I’m falling into a group of men that met me in San Lorenzo, mainly a guy named Brother Jude, who starts talking to me about the Gospel. And he says, ‘Well, if you are going to play Pio you need to read the Gospel. And so I’ve never read the Gospel and he’s reading Matthew to me.”

LaBeouf would relay, “I read it for the first time and things start to strike me. Like John the Baptist. The story of John the Baptist being a reformed hedonist, being this man who was sort of scraggly and kind of felt like an old western character from — he felt like a cowboy. He felt kind of rustic and strong and masculine.”

“And my opinion of Christ at this point felt almost like I was reading about a Buddhist,” he told Bishop Barron. “Like this very soft, fragile, all loving, all listening, but no ferocity, no romance.”

Shia LaBeouf as Padre Pio in Padre Pio (2023), Gravitas Ventures

“So all I know about was this very soft, weak Jesus, which didn’t fit into my idea of masculinity would be,” he said. “My dad was a Mongol biker. It wasn’t appealing to me. But then I read about John the Baptist and it became quite appealing.”

He then detailed, “At that time when I was reading it, I was holding on so tight to a life that was slipping away through my hands to a 35 years of management. The Gospel gave me this invite to just let go. ”

Shia LaBeouf as Padre Pio in Padre Pio (2023), Gravitas Ventures

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From there, LaBeouf relayed that his time with the Capuchin friars no longer became about doing research for the film and the live of Padre Pio, “It stops being this like prep of a movie and it starts being something that feels beyond all that and I stopped sending videos. Like at a certain point with Jude I just really fall in. And then I meet these women, The Sacred Heart Sisters, who starts really catechizing me in a very real way. In a very like, ‘Let’s go through it. Let’s talk about it paragraph by paragraph.’

He continued, “And what happened was also happened to be a meeting at the church for this other spiritual program I am in right next door to Sister Lucia’s. So I wake up in the morning 9 am. I go to my meeting. Then 10 am I’d be with Sister Lucia, and then 11 am I’d be with Brother Jude. And then 12 I’d be with Father James who’s now in…”

Shia LaBeouf as Padre Pio in Padre Pio (2023), Gravitas Ventures

Following this interview with Bishop Barron, Catholic News Agency’s Joe Bukuras spoke with Brother Alexander Rodriguez, O.F.M., a Franciscan Capuchin who befriended Labeouf and even traveled with him to Italy to film Padre Pio and took part in it.

Bukuras reports that “LeBeouf had entered the Rite of Christian Initiation, or R.C.I.A., at Santa Inés. But the friar revealed that LaBeouf never finished the catechetical education program because of conflicts with his filming schedule.”

He also notes that after discovering he was baptized by his uncle at the age of 13 the Capuchins asked if he would receive Holy Communion informing the actor, “You can’t play Padre Pio without receiving Communion!”

LaBeouf had previously informed Bishop Barron he had received the Eucharist.

Shia LaBeouf via Bishop Robert Barron YouTube

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Now, in an interview to promote the upcoming Padre Pio film, LaBeouf provided an update on his journey to Catholicism informing the outlet he’s “in RCIA and scheduled to be confirmed in seven months. And I hope Bishop Barron comes down to confirm me. But we’ll see.”

He reiterated, “I’m in RCIA right now. Once a week I get on the horn with Father Bobby and we talk shop.”

In the Catholic faith, the Sacrament of Confirmation “the baptized person is ‘sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit’ and is strengthened for service to the Body of Christ.”

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops explains, “Confirmation deepens our baptismal life that calls us to be missionary witnesses of Jesus Christ in our families, neighborhoods, society, and the world.  . . .  We receive the message of faith in a deeper and more intensive manner with great emphasis given to the person of Jesus Christ, who asked the Father to give the Holy Spirit to the Church for building up the community in loving service.”

Shia LaBeouf and Zak Gottsagen in The Peanut Butter Falcon via RoadsideFlix YouTube

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The Catechism of the Catholic Church further explains, “For ‘by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.”

It also details, “It is evident from its celebration that the effect of the sacrament of Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost. From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace: it roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, ‘Abba! Father!’; it unites us more firmly to Christ; it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us; it renders our bond with the Church more perfect; it gives us special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross.”

Shia LaBeouf Zak Gottsagen, and Dakota Johnson in The Peanut Butter Falcon via RoadsideFlix YouTube

What do you makeof LaBeouf’s journey to Catholicism?

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