Actor and producer Mark Wahlberg has opened up about his Christian faith, referring to it as the "anchor that supports everything I do."
The "Deepwater Horizon" star recently appeared in an online video to serve as a greeting for the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors, according to the Boston Pilot.
"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 in the video, posted on Facebook by the vocations office of the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island.
"My Catholic faith is the anchor that supports everything I do in life," the actor continued. "In my daily prayers, I ask for guidance, strength in my vocation as a husband and as a father."
The Boston native said in the video that he has experienced "many wonderful priests" in his life who helped him get through his troubled childhood. When he was 16, The actor, who struggled with a cocaine addiction as a young man, became a Christian after meeting a priest in jail while serving time in a Boston prison for robbing a pharmacy, assaulting one man, leaving another one blind in one eye and attacking a security guard. After he was imprisoned and charged with attempted murder, Wahlberg realized he needed to change, consequently turning to God.
"I was married by a priest," the actor continued. "My children were baptized by a priest. And whenever somebody in my family passed away, they've all been buried by a priest. My sins have been forgiven when I go to confession to a priest. Every time I go to Mass, it's 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.
"We the Catholic faithful are counting on you to bring us good and holy priests," Wahlberg said. "Enjoy my hometown this week, and know that I will pray for you and for your success. Thank you for all that you do, and God bless."
During a 2015 interview with Square Mile Magazine, Wahlberg said that he prays and goes to church "every day."
"My faith in God is what makes me a better man," he said, "It's the most important part of my life. I pray that I will live up to my intention to be the best husband and father than I can be."
Wahlberg also credits his faith for his massively successful career, which began in the 1980's with a short stint in the popular boy band New Kids on the Block. From there, he fronted Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch and went on to star in several box-office hits, including "Planet of the Apes", "The Departed", and "The Fighter". He has also been nominated for an Academy Award twice, and served as an executive producer for popular TV series Entourage, which was loosely based on his own life.
"I never would have been able to change my life and have the success and love that I have in my world today without my faith," he said.