How Hollywood Actor Tom Cruise Came So Close To Being A Catholic Priest Before He Got ‘Kicked Out’ Of Seminary! 

How Hollywood Actor Tom Cruise Came So Close To Being A Catholic Priest Before He Got ‘Kicked Out’ Of Seminary! 

He could have been fighting real bad guys instead of pretending to fight them in movies!
Tom Cruise was a blank slate when he took Hollywood by storm in 1981 — but his success came despite an abusive father, troubled teen years and all-consuming infatuation with the Catholic Church that ended when he was apparently asked to leave for stealing booze.

Cruise is a three-time Academy Award nominee and perhaps the best-known member of the controversial Church of Scientology — but before he was in showbiz, he was Tommy Mapother, an introverted, lonely brown-haired boy who was a devout Catholic.

Cruise was only 14 in 1976 when his mother Mary packed him and his three sisters into a car and moved them to Louisville from Ottawa, Canada, after she broke up with his abusive, electrican father, Tommy Sr., who died in 1984.

Cruise was 'kicked out' of seminary following an incident where he and an unruly band of boys pilfered the priests' liquor cabinet.

Cruise was ‘kicked out’ of seminary following an incident where he and an unruly band of boys pilfered the priests’ liquor cabinet. (MySpace)

Lost and alone, Cruise gravitated toward a friendly priest who was recruiting students to attend the St. Francis Seminary School in Cincinnati.

Tom was instantly hooked,” said Father Ric Schneider, who gave the speech that brought Cruise to seminary school. “I think he wanted a good education. With his parents going through a divorce, it was tough on him, that’s maybe one of the reasons he came here.”

He as a typical teenager, trying to find his way in life. We would give them an IQ test, and he just about made the cut. The cutoff is 110, and he scored exactly 110,” said Schneider, who frequently gave the young teen a ride back to Louisville from Cincinnati for holidays.

Cruise’s closest buddy from the seminary, Shane Dempler, said he was very sincere about becoming a priest.

He had a very strong Catholic faith,” Dempler said. “We went to Mass, spent time in the chapel and enjoyed hearing stories from the priests. We thought the priests had a great lifestyle and we were really interested in the priesthood.

“In truth,” Dempler added, “we were too young to make that decision.”

Cruise didn’t stand out as an excellent pupil — in fact, teachers described him as mediocre in studies and sometimes uncommunicative, especially when it came to his family and background.

He never elaborated, but I think he was there to run away from his dad,” said classmate and soccer teammate John Kowalski. “He had a good personality, but he was closed about his family, even back then.”

The strict Franciscan seminary — where students had to learn Latin, Greek and German — had a drama club that Cruise joined for the two years he was there.

In sport and acting, he came out of his shell. They were competitions, you see, and if it were competitive, he’d be on it. Otherwise he’d just survey the scene,” said Dempler.

“We had a great drama teacher in Father Aubert (Grieser). He taught us how to speak in public. We used to get into trouble, as Aubert would tell us not to spit when we were speaking and we’d spit on purpose. It’d cost us 50 cents.”

Grieser forced Cruise to memorize entire plays and voice all the characters. The school’s drama department traveled to competitions and Cruise and Dempler would compete head-to-head against other young thespians. 

Priests at the seminary have said Cruise chose to leave the school when his family relocated again, this time to New Jersey. But Dempler remembers it differently.

He and Cruise weren’t troublemakers, but they liked to sneak out and smoke cigarettes.

“Standard stuff for a kid on a Saturday night,” Dempler said.

But one night the duo got the bright idea of stealing some liquor from their Franciscan fathers, who were planning a celebration, Dempler said.

Dempler sneaked into the room where the liquor was stashed and threw bottle after bottle out the window to Cruise, waiting below.

“(I) tossed about six, most broke, but we managed to get a couple and hide them in the nearby woods,” said Dempler. “The priests didn’t even realize until some of the other boys found out about our plan and snuck into the woods and got drunk. They were caught staggering down the road to the seminary and forced to confess.

“The school wrote a letter to our parents saying they liked us both, but would prefer if we didn’t return. So we weren’t kicked out, just preferred not to go,” said Dempler.

Cruise could not be reached for comment about the incident.

The future star left Louisville — and within five years had his breakout role as a crazed military kid in “Taps.”

Next up was “Risky Business” in 1983, and “Top Gun,” and from there Cruise shot straight to the Hollywood A-list, where he’s remained for 30 years.

One of his former teachers still can’t believe it.

“He was very unremarkable,” said the teacher, Salvio Russo. “You would never have thought he’d make it, although he did have a really neat smile.”

-Culled From New York Daily News.

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