'Father Stu' Star Mark Wahlberg Explains Why He Won't Force His Catholic Faith on His Kids

'Father Stu' Star Mark Wahlberg Explains Why He Won't Force His Catholic Faith on His Kids

Hollywood superstar Mark Wahlberg is devout about his Catholic faith, but that said, he isn’t about to force his kids to take it up, explaining that he hopes they will “gravitate” towards religion on their own.

In 2013, the now 50-year-old Walhberg said in an interview with Parade magazine that faith is “the most important part of my life,” adding, “I don’t try to push it on anybody and I don’t try to hide it.”

Wahlberg went on to describe his usual Sunday morning routine, when he may attend Mass twice.

“If the kids are good, I’ll have doughnuts for them at 6:30 in the morning, and I’ll say, ‘You guys gotta let Mommy sleep in!’ I’ll go to church at 7:30 and everybody will be eating breakfast when I come home,” Wahlberg explained. “Then we’ll go to church again at 10:30, if things aren’t too hectic. Or if one of the kids has a game, we’ll watch them play. It’s a nice family day.”

The Blaze noted that Wahlberg and his wife Rhea Durham have four children: Ella, 18, Michael, 16, Grace Margaret, 12, and Brendan, 13.

More recently, Wahlberg appeared on the Today show to discuss his new film, “Father Stu,” as well as his deepening faith. The filmi is “about a down-on-his-luck former Golden Gloves boxer who became a priest,” NBC noted, who develops a degenerative muscle condition. The film also stars another notable Hollywood Catholic, Mel Gibson.

“They think dad’s crazy, and he’s boring,” he joked to Hoda Kotb. “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.

“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.”

Today added:

The movie is based on the life of Stuart Long, an agnostic Golden Gloves boxer in the 1980s who converted to Catholicism and eventually became a priest after nearly dying in a motorcycle accident.

The film depicts initial opposition from the church to his goal of becoming a priest due to his boxing background and criminal record. Long was ordained as a priest in his home state of Montana in 2007 and died at 50 in 2014 of a rare illness.

“People recognized all of his real-life experience and how authentic he was when he communicated,” Wahlberg, who was so enthralled with Long’s story he financed the film himself.

“I just felt it was also the best way to make the movie without any kind of interference,” he said. “We wanted to be completely in control creatively.”

Wahlberg sees “Father Stu” as a potential turning point in an illustrious career where others can explore projects that can help people.

“I feel like this is starting a new chapter for me in that, now, doing things like this [with] real substance can help people,” Wahlberg told Entertainment Tonight. “I definitely want to focus on making more. I wouldn’t say necessarily just faith-based content but things that will help people.”

“Hopefully this movie will open a door for not only myself but for lots of other people in Hollywood to make more meaningful content,” he added.

As far as his career, Wahlberg said that he definitely could step away from Hollywood “sooner rather than later” in order to spend more time with his four children.

Here is the trailer for Father Stu:


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