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Actor Mark Wahlberg: Catholicism ‘not popular’ in Hollywood

Actor Mark Wahlberg signs a uniform patch for an 86th Security Forces Squadron Defender at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Dec. 15, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker)
February 23, 2023

During an appearance on “Today” with Samantha Guthrie, actor Mark Wahlberg said Catholicism is “not popular” in Hollywood, but that he “cannot deny” his faith. Throughout the interview, Wahlberg had a cross of ashes on his forehead in observance of Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of the Lent in Christianity.

“It’s a balance,” Wahlberg said. “I don’t wanna jam it down anybody’s throat, but I do not deny my faith. That’s an even bigger sin. You know, it’s not popular in my industry, but, you know, I cannot deny my faith. It’s important for me to share that with people.”

The actor discussed his personal dedication to Catholicism, as well as respecting people of other faiths, saying, “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.”

The actor also discussed the structure and guidance that faith has provided him in everyday life.

“Discipline has always been important for me in life,” he said. “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, so 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. And those things are important,” Wahlberg continued.

Speaking on what the overall meaning of religion means to him in his life, Wahlberg said it’s “everything.” The actor is also a spokesperson and guest narrator for the Catholic prayer app Hallow.

“It’s afforded me so many things. Obviously, you know, God didn’t come to save the saints. He came to save the sinners,” Wahlberg said.