Mark Wahlberg has praised the priests he has known, and said he is praying for new vocations to the priesthood in America.
In a Facebook video message to the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors, which is meeting this week, the twice-Oscar-nominated actor said: “I want you to know my support for your work to foster vocations to the priesthood, because I want my children and future generations to have good priests in their lives, just like I had.”
Wahlberg said the Catholic faith was “the anchor that supports everything I do in life”, in his “vocation” as an actor, and as a husband and a father. (He is married to the model Rhea Durham, with whom he has four children.)
Wahlberg welcomed the vocations directors to his hometown of Boston, where this week’s conference takes place. The actor paid tribute to the priests who had helped him when he was growing up, who had baptised his children and accompanied dying family members.
“My sins have been forgiven when I go to confession to a priest,” Wahlberg went on. “Every time I go to Mass, [it] is through a priest’s hands that I receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, which strengthens me to share my Catholic faith with others.”
Wahlberg said that he and all Catholics “are counting on you to bring us good and holy priests.” He told the vocations directors: “I am praying for you.”
In an interview last week to promote his new film Deepwater, Wahlberg told the Evening Standard that he goes to Mass “almost” daily, and that he starts every day on his “hands and knees. I read my prayer books for 15 minutes and do the same before I go to bed.”
He has previously said that Catholicism is “the most important aspect of my life”.
Recently, Wahlberg announced a forthcoming film project: a biopic of the beloved priest Fr Stuart Long, a former prizefighter who died in 2014, only a few years after his ordination.