The Secret to Mark Wahlberg’s Success


I love Mark Wahlberg! But, let’s be honest… who doesn’t?

Mark Wahlberg started out as a model and then went on to become the rockin’ awesome rapper Mark-y-Mark. As the years went on, Mark began acting and producing, and found massive success in the film industry. Throughout the years, there is one thing that remained constant, and I would argue that it’s the secret to his success – his Catholic faith.

“Being a Catholic is the most important aspect of my life,” Wahlberg said in an interview with the Catholic Herald in the U.K. He continued,

“Once I focused on my faith wonderful things started happening for me. And I don’t mean professionally – that’s not what it’s about. These days, I’ll be in church and people will come up to me and say: ‘Do you mind if I sit and pray with you?’ And they’ll start praying and it’ll turn out they’re praying for their new movie to be a success or whatever, and I’m like, this is not what I come here for. For me to sit down and ask for material things is ridiculous. It’s a much bigger picture than that. I want to serve God and to be a good human being and to make up for the mistakes I made and the pain I put people through. That’s what I’m praying for, and I recommend it to anybody.”

Wahlberg’s whole life changed when he centered his life on prayer and on his faith. He stayed focused on what is most important in life, and his career followed on that path. Wahlberg spoke of his priorities in life saying,

“Being a good actor or a good producer: that’s not going to help me sleep at night or get me into heaven. The most important thing from where I sit is to be a good father, a good husband, and a good human being – a man who helps his fellow man and raises his kids to be good human beings too. Every single aspect of my family life is joy”

Remember, this is coming from a really successful actor!

Wahlberg has starred in countless movies, such as: The Italian Job, The Departed, and my personal favorite The Fighter. Yet, through it all, he stayed focused on his faith and his family.

But, how does he stay so focused and centered in Hollywood, when so many around him are having breakdowns and families are falling apart? I think it goes back to the faith.

Mark’s spiritual director is a man named Father Flavin. Father Flavin is a parish priest that has known Wahlberg for years, and helped lead him from high-school dropout and ex-con, to the successful life he leads today – in his career and his family life. “He’s been in my life since I was 13,” Wahlberg said of Flavin. “He married me and my wife and baptized all my children.” It’s also rumored that Fr. Flavin helps lead and guide Wahlberg in his movie choices, to “honor his religious roots” in the roles he chooses to play.

(Note: The fact that Wahlberg has chosen some roles that some may find issue with, just shows his humanity. We have all made choices that we regret, but we must continue to strive to walk on the path to holiness and rise above our faults.)

One of the most powerful things about Wahlberg is his daily faith life. He begins every day in prayer at a local Catholic Church, wherever he is. Even if he can’t make it to daily Mass, he stops by the Church for a few minutes at the beginning of each day, to spend some quality with Jesus.

“The first thing I do when I start my day is, I get down on my hands and knees and give thanks to God,” Wahlberg said. “If I can start my day out by saying my prayers and getting myself focused, then I know I’m doing the right thing. That 10 minutes helps me in every way throughout the day.”

Mark Wahlberg – his life and his faith – are a witness to Hollywood and to the rest of the world. And his faith has led him to much of the success that he has had and led him through film choices and more, and that is another testament to the celebrities in Hollywood. If you keep your eyes fixed upon Jesus, He will help lead and guide you through the crazy world that we live in.

Keep the faith… always.


Categories:Culture New Evangelization

  • Joanne

    He has a movie coming out next year called, Lone Survivor, about Operation Red Wing and Marcus Luttrell. If you get a chance see it. The book was very good – it will be violent but it also shows people helping others in the midst of war.

  • BlueFox94

    I really admire Wahlberg, but I agree with Tim and Mark. He should seriously consider the roles and scripts he chooses from now on.

  • Frank Gon

    Kate, thank you for writing this article. I remember hearing about his faith years ago. I started following his work more and well, I became a bigger fan. I find that I am always looking for good Christian men and women to support, be it movies or music.

    However, I have been disappointed with some of the movies that Mark has chosen to star in very recently. It really just doesn’t make sense to me and seems contradictory. IMHO movies like Ted and Pain and Gain are not movies that we as Catholics should watch or support. You can go look them up on to see why they are rated what they are. On the site it states that Pain and Gain are “Rated R for bloody violence, crude sexual content, nudity, language throughout and drug use.

    As much as I would like to give him a pass and support a Catholic in Hollywood, I think we may need to raise our standards. Granted we all sin and fall short. However, I think choosing a roll in a movie if very different for falling in one particular moment. It would seem that one would have to choose daily to continue on a project that continually promotes sex and violence.

    It is one things to pray and live your faith at certain times but quite another to actually live it when it is difficult. That includes turning down roles that are contradictory to basic Christian values and virtue. I will pray for Mark because it sounds like he striving for good and maybe I am just projecting where I think he should be instead of be thankful that he is on the journey.

  • Kathleen Mcallister

    Mark Wahlberg is proof positive that you don’t have to sell your soul to become a famous celebrity. Sure, some of his movies have violence or crudeness in them but are not the focus of the story or mainly used for shock value. We need more people like him as role models

  • Albert

    @Tim – I’d say we should not judge why he does what he does.

    Rather look at what a deviation he is from mainline actors and if through some have found Christ – then that is a net positive.

    Staying faithful at Hollywood must be more challenging that doing so in our less fancier neighborhoods.

    It doesn’t mean am supporting the vulgarity he participates in – or watch those scenes. But some degree of holiness is better than none.

  • Tim

    Without juding anyone’s state of soul, it is truly frustrating to see so many Christians, so off the mark in regard to media, particularly tv and film. Movies that take the Lord’s Name in vain, which many of Mark’s films do, commit grave evil. We’re not even talking about all of the questionable morality surrounding sexuality in his films either. If a person then watches this movie, and does not leave when this happens, they are participating in this evil. There are certain sins that you cannot simulate on film, and taking the Lord’s Name in vain is one of them. How have we as Christians lost a sense of this, and rationalize it away? Fr. Chad Ripperger has a great, and short homily on this subject here titled ‘Movies’ under Sermons #1:

    • Marlo Hartz

      I’m thankful that Mr. Wahlberg has found the Lord. However, as previously stated by someone else, he should indeed consider the roles has accepts. I don’t believe that continuing in the same behaviors/patterns (his movie choices) is more acceptable because he is a believer. In fact, with his testimony, Mr. Wahlberg becomes a greater infulence and example. He woudl fare greater amongst fellow believers, if he would choose to opt out of un-family friendly…better yet, un-Christ-like roles. we should not compare our lifestyles to unsaved people, or even against other believers. GOD is ur standard that we should measure ourselves. IDK how young Mr. Wahlberg is in his faith, but just the rest of us, he may have more growing to do. Am I “judging” him? No, simply encouraging him to be even more for Christ. Blessings to the Wahlberg family.



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