Mark Wahlberg Reveals Why He Doesn’t ‘Force’ Catholic Faith on His Children

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Sony Pictures)

Although he has been publicly open about his religious views, Mark Wahlberg says he doesn’t “force” his Catholic faith on his children. 

While promoting his new film “Father Stu” on “Today,”  Mark Wahlberg says he approaches the impart of his Catholic faith to his children by more of a living it than mandating it. “They think dad’s crazy. And he’s boring. But even with my faith, I don’t force it on them. But they know that dad can’t start the day without being in prayer. Can’t start the day without reading my Scripture or going to Mass.”

Mark Wahlberg then said that by not forcing his faith on them, he hopes his children will embrace more. “They’ll say, ‘Well, if it works for dad, maybe it’ll work for us,’ and they’ll kind of gravitate towards it on their own.”

The actor then went on to speak about Stuart Long, who was an agnostic Golden Gloves boxer in the 1980s who converted to Catholicism and then became a priest. The change in faith came after Long nearly died in a motorcycle accident. “Father Stu” follows Long’s story all the way until his death at 50 in 2014. 

“People recognized all of his real-life experience and how authentic he was when he communicated,” Mark Wahlberg explained. “I just felt it was also the best way to make the movie without any kind of interference. We wanted to be completely in control creatively.

Mark Wahlberg Talks Integrating His Catholic Faith Into His Work 

During a recent interview with The Catholic Sun, Mark Wahlberg spoke about how he integrates his own Catholic faith into his work, whether it’s acting or business. “Well, I’ve always hoped that my faith wouldn’t deter me from or make me compromise my artistic integrity. But at the same time, while being a parent and a husband, I do think about those things. Everything weighs into the equation.”

Mark Wahlberg then said that he thinks age and his faith now definitely weigh in on the kind of roles that he wants to play. “Like, would I be able to then go and say I’m doing a movie like ‘Boogie Nights’ right now, being a married father of four, and playing that particular role? Maybe if I was playing Burt Reynolds’ role or something. I can’t help but think about that sort of thing.”

When asked how he has the time to reflect and have time for prayer with his business schedule, Mark Wahlberg said it’s how he starts every day. “I start every day getting on my hands and my knees expressing my gratitude, and then all the things that I need to pray for, the people that I need to pray for, the guidance that I’m looking for. Then, of course, reading my daily devotionals.”