Foley said, while the country continues to face issues of racial inequality, the film has come at the proper time. He said Tolton overcame hatred with acts of love.
"We see a lot of racial angst and discord in our country now. It was so much different back then and worse, but the solution is the same," he told CNA. "He met hatred and discrimination with love."
"It was interesting because he was actually one of the reasons he was kind of ousted from his hometown of Quincy. He was told to minister just to black people in Quincy, Illinois and white people started coming to his church and he was fine with that. He welcomed everyone, but that raised the ire of other people. He believed that there's no hierarchy of races."
He said the movie has also come at a time of great difficulty in the Church, including the clergy sex abuse scandal. Similarly, he said the story will highlight the Church's overall good even among villainous men.
"One of our bad guys is a priest who was a racist, but that doesn't change the goal and mission of the Church as being good," he said.
"The majority of her priests are good, holy men, like Father Tolton. We need to kind of hold up this example now in the midst of these scandals and say, 'Hey, most priests are more like Father Tolton than the ones that are making the headlines. We need to raise up those good stories."
Pope Francis recognized the heroic virtue of Fr. Tolton June 12, making him "Venerable".
In a recent newsletter, Bishop Perry said Tolton is a model of civil rights and overcoming racial adversity with Christian virtues.
"Father Tolton shows us Christians how to get through to the Kingdom, surviving the apparent contradictions of life with our faith, hope and love intact," said Perry.
"The unfinished business of racial reconciliation in America is inspired by Father Tolton's sense of openness to walk amidst and serve both black and white at a time, post Civil War-Reconstruction, socially not yet ripe for interaction between the races. He was ahead of his time in leading both black and white under the roof of his Church while being resented for it by pockets of Church and society of his time."