"They know Dad can’t start the day without being in prayer, can’t start the day without reading my Scripture or going to Mass," he said about his four kids.
Mark Wahlberg is proud of his relationship with God. He knows it is "not popular" in his industry but does not deny his faith. He spoke to TODAY about his belief in the Catholic faith and that he wears an ash cross on his forehead in observance of the first day of Lent. The Father Stu actor further proved that when he did both of those things during a visit to TODAY on February 22 on Ash Wednesday.
“It’s a balance,” the 51-year-old told co-anchor Savannah Guthrie of his practice of discussing religion. He elaborated, “I don’t want to jam it down anybody’s throat, but I do not deny my faith. That’s an even bigger sin." He further said, "You know, it’s not popular in my industry, but I cannot deny my faith. It’s important for me to share that with people. But, I have friends from all walks of life and all different types of faiths and religions, so it’s important to respect and honor them as well.”
In another visit to TODAY, in April 2022, Wahlberg emphasized that he maintains a healthy discussion but does not push when it comes to the four children he has with his wife Rhea Durham. “I don’t force it on them,” he said then. “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. And hopefully, instead of forcing that on them, 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,” he added.
Wahlberg is a guest narrator and paid spokesperson for the Catholic prayer app Hallow. Going into a deeper explanation of that he also spoke about the Lenten season and the periods of fasting that are part of it.
"There are many different elements to fasting," Wahlberg explained. "I think the important thing to understand is that, first of all, if you have issues with food, there are other things. God knows the things that he wants you to detach from. We all know those things that make us feel guilty, don’t make us feel as good as we should. So (it's about) being able to detach from those things and focus on good habits as opposed to bad habits," he said. "There are challenges for fasting, like today, I won’t have any meat. I’ll have one meal today, and I’ll do that every Friday throughout Lent and Good Friday," he added.
Wahlberg will also be assisting listeners in inspiring lessons on the practice of fasting as part of the Hallow app's, Pray40 Lent Challenge. He said that the discipline required to meet the challenges of Lent helps "people to be better versions of themselves."
"Discipline has always been important for me in life," he continued. "Once I started getting into movies and transitioned from music, I realized I needed a lot of discipline in my life, and that discipline has afforded me so many other things. I’ve been rewarded for it so much, and I want to share that with people, whether that’s with fasting, working out more, detaching from other things, and just spending more time with God, in prayer, or in thoughtful reflection. Those things are important," he added.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Tommaso Boddi