Mark Wahlberg fell in love with his wife after their first date that happened at church. 14 years later, she still prays with him. Faith taught him about the true meaning of life.

Mark Wahlberg had a difficult childhood: he lived in poverty, had no clothes, and depended on hand-me-downs while sharing a small bedroom with his five brothers.

His faith gave him hope and strength, and he still prays every day.

Wahlberg fell in love with his now-wife in church and started a family with her. He now does everything for his spouse and the couple’s kids, giving them everything that he never had as a child.

Actor Mark Wahlberg is from humble beginnings despite being a multimillionaire to date. He got candid about his poor background and troubled childhood in a 2011 interview.

At the time, the movie star had split from his then-girlfriend, actress Jordana Brewster, a 21-year-old Yale University student then. The pair came from different backgrounds, as she is from a well-off family.

Wahlberg revealed he had a hard time relating to her posh lifestyle with her as she lived “on Fifth Avenue” and had “housekeepers,” while his life was nothing compared to that.

That said, he believed he was better off being a part of a life he knew while growing but because it taught him how to “survive anything.” Wahlberg was raised in a low-income family in Boston, where he shared a bedroom with his five brothers.

Coming from a big family of what he believed was nine siblings, it later turned out that they were twelve of them. Wahlberg’s father was a soldier and spent most of his time abroad, and his mother had six kids with him.

From a young age, young Wahlberg’s life was marred with crime which, at times, worked to his family’s advantage. When his brother ended up locked up in a youth facility, they received defective shoes from Converse and Nike, as the brands would donate there. He explained:

“They’d be four sizes too big, but we were actually happy my brother was locked up, because we would get free sneakers.”

Through those hard times, Wahlberg’s faith kept him going. “Being a Catholic is the most important aspect of my life,” he said, adding:

“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. […] For me to sit down and ask for material things is ridiculous. It’s a much bigger picture than that.”

Wahlberg further explained that he wanted to be a servant of God, be exemplary, rectify his previous faults, and make amends with those he hurt. “That’s what I’m praying for, and I recommend it to anybody.”

The businessman is now happily married to his wife of 13 years, Rhea Durham, whom he wed in 2009. When asked in August 2010 how he met his love, Wahlberg shared they crossed paths in New York City when he was promoting a movie.

He offered her to accompany him, and the model agreed and asked her if she would be willing to go to church with him the next day, “and she said yes again,” Wahlberg recalled.

The couple had their first date at “St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. I knew shortly after that she was the one,” said the sought-after star. However, he admitted that he had to first make certain that he “was able to be the man I needed to be.”

Praying Every Day at 2 Am
Today, Wahlberg is worth a staggering $400 million – a fortune he made through his extensive work profile, including being a rapper, a producer, an entrepreneur, and an investor, not forgetting his successful acting career.

Despite accumulating that much over the years, the “Ted” star remains down-to-earth. He wakes up at 2:45 every day to pray for half an hour, as he cannot begin his day without it.

“It’s a process, that’s why I start my day every day by getting on my hands and knees and starting a time of prayer and reading, and I feel like I can go out there and conquer the world,” he revealed.

Wahlberg dropped out of school when he was thirteen and broke the law during his teenage years. Consequently, he was arrested and imprisoned after being “tried as an adult at 16, 17,” he recounted and said the moment they closed the jail doors, he began praying immediately.

Wahlberg was invited as a guest in Chicago for an event, joining the archdiocese of the city attended by thousands of young Catholic adults. When asked what he would tell those who had made mistakes and felt as though they would never turn their lives around, Wahlberg said he has his own faults like everyone else and has made many of them, but he chose not to dwell on them and moved on:

“God is so good, so forgiving, you just have to have faith in yourself, and you can turn the situation around.”

Wahlberg added that one will always experience “heartache and struggle and loss and failure and disappointment and all those things, but having faith and knowing the big picture” goes a long way, he said. “So, the idea and the promise of eternal life in heaven is a very beautiful thing to me,” he stated.

In a recent interview, the “Pain & Gain” star said he chooses not to hide the fact that he is a proud Catholic even though it is unpopular in Hollywood. During his appearance on the “Today” show, Wahlberg said his faith instilled discipline in him, which has become crucial in his life.

The former rapper shared that when he transitioned from being a musician to becoming an actor, it dawned on him that he needed to be disciplined “and that discipline has afforded me so many things,” he divulged.

Although he loves being a Catholic, Wahlberg does not want to force it upon anybody else but would not deny it either. He stated:

“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 “Uncharted” star revealed he has friends from different backgrounds and beliefs, so he acknowledges their differences by respecting and honoring them.

Moreover, Wahlberg has managed to combine his faith with his work. He starred in and produced the 2022 movie “Father Stu,” where he portrays an amateur boxer-turned-Catholic priest. The A-lister is also a spokesperson for Hallow, a Catholic meditation, prayer, and sleep app.

Country Life as a Family of Six
In addition to being a God-fearing individual, Wahlberg is also a loving family man. He and his spouse Durham are parents of four children: daughters Ella and Grace and sons Michael and Brendan.

Wahlberg spoke candidly about fatherhood once and shared about providing a life for his kids that he never had growing up in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

He expressed his desire to give his brood everything he never had the privilege of having as a child. However, his sons and daughters surprised him big time.

The children told him their home was too spacious and suggested they relocate somewhere else and move to a different house.

Wahlberg said all his life, he “worked” to ensure he provided his kids with everything that he believed they would want to have. Things he desperately wanted at a young age. This experience has made him realize something about his life as he began to reevaluate what is essential and what is not – to have a wholesome life:

“The most important things are having family and having your faith and having each other.”

As such, he moved his loved ones in 2022 from California to Nevada so that he could give them “a better life.” In the spirit of giving his children everything they need, the actor and his wife recently gifted their son, Michael, with a car for his 17th birthday.

The mother of three shared the proud moment on her Instagram. In the photo, the 17-year-old stood next to his new all-black Ford Bronco, with the caption “First car.”

In the second photo of her post, Durham showed her daughter Grace in the car with a big red bow on it. Grace was all smiles and seemed to be checking out her brother’s new ride. The Wahlberg family is excited to have gained an additional driver.

However, this was not the only milestone that the actor and model celebrated; in fact, the rate at which their children are growing has been emotional for Durham.

The model shared that she drove her eldest daughter Ella to college and admitted how emotionally difficult it was to see one of her offspring leave the nest.

As for Grace, she’s been keeping her parents’ company and making her father laugh. Wahlberg shared a funny video of his daughter modeling a complete outfit for his brand, Municipal.

Grace walked through the kitchen, pointing out her Municipal shirt, shorts, and shoes. Then she grabbed one of her father’s protein powders called Performance Inspired, which he created to help with high-performance training. She said, “Performance Inspired, inspire to be better. Stay prayed up, and make your protein shakes.”

To wrap up the video, Grace made fun of her father’s meticulous schedule. She looked at her watch and said, “What time is it? Oh, 8 a.m., I gotta go to bed.”Wahlberg initially showed interest in two homes, one belonging to gaming entrepreneur Steve Wynn, on Summerlin’s Billionaires Row, which eventually sold for $17.5 million, and later to one belonging to the songbird Celine Dion.

Taylor shared she had yet to learn why Wahlberg wanted to relocate to Las Vegas and whether it had anything to do with tax affairs. He did tell her about his plan to list his LA home, which he did in 2022 at an asking price of $87.5 million.