Actress Siobhan Fallon Hogan focuses on faith, family at Theology on Tap

June 21, 2024 at 1:53 p.m.
Actress Siobhan Fallon Hogan was the speaker for a Theology on Tap gathering held June 19 in Tinton Falls. Marianne Hartman photo
Actress Siobhan Fallon Hogan was the speaker for a Theology on Tap gathering held June 19 in Tinton Falls. Marianne Hartman photo

By John Spinelli, Correspondent

When a former Saturday Night Live star speaks at Theology on Tap, young adults might expect some comic relief mixed in with faith-based advice. On June 18, those who gathered at Twin Lights Brewing in Tinton Falls were not disappointed, but said they were most impressed with the faith of Siobhan Fallon Hogan.


Fallon Hogan, an active member of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Red Bank, had supporting roles in "Seinfeld," “Forrest Gump” and “Men in Black” and was a featured cast member of SNL in the 1991-92 season. She told those who gathered, “Today, everyone’s focused on being popular, especially Tiktok and Instagram; but you will be happy if you focus on doing good acts for other people.”


Theology on Tap events are sponsored by the Trenton Diocese’s Department of Youth and Young Adults and co-hosted by local parishes, this time by the St. Mary's Young Adult Group in Middletown. They are designed to attract young adults ages 21-39.


“The 20s are supposed to be the best times of your life, but they could also be rough,” said Fallon Hogan, 63. “There’s questions like what if I don’t meet that right somebody. When I was 29, my dad had a discussion with me solely about me being single,” she said, laughing.


“When I had lows like rejections, I was able to go through it with prayer and courage,” she said, adding that her faith came from an Irish-Catholic background.


Use faith when life gets tough


Fallon Hogan earned a bachelor’s degree from Le Moyne College in DeWitt, New York, and a master’s degree in fine arts from The Catholic University of America, Washington. She told the young adults success was not always easy.


“Before I was picked up, no one would cast me, so I had to cast myself. I began with improv comedy.”


She said she met the challenges with devotion to St. Genesius, patron saint of theater, and St. Therese of Lisieux, but she also rejected roles she felt were immoral or sacrilegious.


“On Wednesdays for SNL, we reviewed our drafts. One sketch was particularly explicit, and I said no when they asked me to be in it.”


Initially, she was nervous about her decision, but Mazda pulled money from the commercials because of the content.


“Because of prayers and having faith you are rewarded. Trust in God that it’s going to work out: When one door closes, another one will open.”


“In the end of our lives, faith is that all we will have,” she said. “Life goes really fast; being a movie star won’t be important before you die; life’s about spending time with God and your family.”


A desire for faith-based films


More recently, Fallon Hogan has focused on more serious faith-based films, such as the 2023 movie “Shelter in Solitude,” about a man on death row, and “Rushed” (2021), about a college student who died from hazing.


She also mentioned speaking with people like actress Patricia Heaton and Eduardo Verástegui, producer of “Sound of Freedom” (2023), who share similar faith-based views about the film industry.


“We could still be very funny and still have priests and the faith to be respected. If we support the Catholic arts by going out to these films, there will be more of it!”


When asked who inspired her to try to make it to the big stage, she said, “It wasn’t the superstars in California, it was my parents who inspired me to keep going.”


‘Stay the course in my faith’


Matt Simms, 22, youth minister and liturgical ministry coordinator at St. David the King Parish in Princeton Junction, said he found it “really inspiring” that Fallon Hogan is “very active with her church.”


Another event attendee, Julia DiBiase of Holy Innocents Parish in Neptune, thought Fallon Hogan “was hilarious.”


“I saw myself in her in a lot of different ways. I think it’s profound how she was able to keep her faith in Hollywood, but also stand her ground for her faith with the people around her.”


“What I took away from tonight from her was to stay the course in my faith,” DiBiase added.


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When a former Saturday Night Live star speaks at Theology on Tap, young adults might expect some comic relief mixed in with faith-based advice. On June 18, those who gathered at Twin Lights Brewing in Tinton Falls were not disappointed, but said they were most impressed with the faith of Siobhan Fallon Hogan.


Fallon Hogan, an active member of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Red Bank, had supporting roles in "Seinfeld," “Forrest Gump” and “Men in Black” and was a featured cast member of SNL in the 1991-92 season. She told those who gathered, “Today, everyone’s focused on being popular, especially Tiktok and Instagram; but you will be happy if you focus on doing good acts for other people.”


Theology on Tap events are sponsored by the Trenton Diocese’s Department of Youth and Young Adults and co-hosted by local parishes, this time by the St. Mary's Young Adult Group in Middletown. They are designed to attract young adults ages 21-39.


“The 20s are supposed to be the best times of your life, but they could also be rough,” said Fallon Hogan, 63. “There’s questions like what if I don’t meet that right somebody. When I was 29, my dad had a discussion with me solely about me being single,” she said, laughing.


“When I had lows like rejections, I was able to go through it with prayer and courage,” she said, adding that her faith came from an Irish-Catholic background.


Use faith when life gets tough


Fallon Hogan earned a bachelor’s degree from Le Moyne College in DeWitt, New York, and a master’s degree in fine arts from The Catholic University of America, Washington. She told the young adults success was not always easy.


“Before I was picked up, no one would cast me, so I had to cast myself. I began with improv comedy.”


She said she met the challenges with devotion to St. Genesius, patron saint of theater, and St. Therese of Lisieux, but she also rejected roles she felt were immoral or sacrilegious.


“On Wednesdays for SNL, we reviewed our drafts. One sketch was particularly explicit, and I said no when they asked me to be in it.”


Initially, she was nervous about her decision, but Mazda pulled money from the commercials because of the content.


“Because of prayers and having faith you are rewarded. Trust in God that it’s going to work out: When one door closes, another one will open.”


“In the end of our lives, faith is that all we will have,” she said. “Life goes really fast; being a movie star won’t be important before you die; life’s about spending time with God and your family.”


A desire for faith-based films


More recently, Fallon Hogan has focused on more serious faith-based films, such as the 2023 movie “Shelter in Solitude,” about a man on death row, and “Rushed” (2021), about a college student who died from hazing.


She also mentioned speaking with people like actress Patricia Heaton and Eduardo Verástegui, producer of “Sound of Freedom” (2023), who share similar faith-based views about the film industry.


“We could still be very funny and still have priests and the faith to be respected. If we support the Catholic arts by going out to these films, there will be more of it!”


When asked who inspired her to try to make it to the big stage, she said, “It wasn’t the superstars in California, it was my parents who inspired me to keep going.”


‘Stay the course in my faith’


Matt Simms, 22, youth minister and liturgical ministry coordinator at St. David the King Parish in Princeton Junction, said he found it “really inspiring” that Fallon Hogan is “very active with her church.”


Another event attendee, Julia DiBiase of Holy Innocents Parish in Neptune, thought Fallon Hogan “was hilarious.”


“I saw myself in her in a lot of different ways. I think it’s profound how she was able to keep her faith in Hollywood, but also stand her ground for her faith with the people around her.”


“What I took away from tonight from her was to stay the course in my faith,” DiBiase added.

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